clear
Friday July 31st, 2015 1:08AM

Ryan sharp on TD drive, Falcons top Miami 16-10

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ATLANTA -- One year ago, the Falcons' 0-4 preseason record set the stage for coach Mike Smith's first losing record in six seasons in Atlanta.<br /> <br /> Smith was more than ready for a positive start to Atlanta's 2014 preseason.<br /> <br /> Matt Ryan was sharp in leading Atlanta to a touchdown on the team's first possession and the Falcons recovered a late fumble for the game's only turnover to hold off the Miami Dolphins 16-10 on Friday night in the preseason opener for both teams.<br /> <br /> "Individually and collectively, I thought the first impression was good," Smith said. "We want to be a physical football team and I thought we showed that."<br /> <br /> Rookie quarterback Seth Lobato led Miami to the Atlanta 5-yard line with less than 3 minutes remaining before fumbling a shotgun snap. Defensive end Nosa Eguae recovered for Atlanta.<br /> <br /> "As a quarterback, I have to make that play and can't let the ball get on the ground in that situation," said Lobato, who took over after Ryan Tannehill opened the game with a touchdown drive.<br /> <br /> Tannehill was 6 for 6 for 62 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson, to open the game.<br /> <br /> Ryan was just as strong, completing each of his seven attempts for 53 yards on Atlanta's opening drive. Jacquizz Rodgers capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run. Rodgers started as Steven Jackson continued to recover from a left hamstring injury.<br /> <br /> Ryan completed passes of 17 yards to Harry Douglas and 5 and 12 yards to Roddy White on the drive.<br /> <br /> Ryan called the opening possession - 15 plays for 77 yards - "exactly what you want for your first drive of the year."<br /> <br /> "We were able to run the ball pretty effectively, and when we did have the opportunity to throw, we were able to move the chains," Ryan said. "We were able to overcome a couple of penalties, we were able to keep going, and punch the ball into the end zone."<br /> <br /> Smith said it was important for Ryan to have a strong answer to Miami's touchdown drive.<br /> <br /> "I like the way our first-team offense came back and answered the opening drive the Dolphins were able to put together," Smith said.<br /> <br /> "We had three other opportunities in the red zone where we did not finish the drive. Those are things we definitely need to be addressing and talking about."<br /> <br /> Lobato, an undrafted rookie from Northern Colorado, completed 14 of 28 passes for 124 yards.<br /> <br /> "I felt really comfortable and thought the line did a great job protecting me," Lobato said.<br /> <br /> "I thought that we did some pretty good things as an offense and made some plays. We just didn't make enough plays."<br /> <br /> Matt Bryant closed the first half with a 21-yard field goal. Danny Hrapmann kicked a 42-yarder in the second quarter for Miami. Sergio Castillo added field goals of 21 and 34 yards in the second half for Atlanta.<br /> <br /> T.J. Yates, the favorite to win the job as Ryan's top backup, looked poised in Atlanta's two-minute offense to set up Bryant's field goal. Yates completed 7 of 16 passes for 123 yards.<br /> <br /> Yates is competing with Sean Renfree, who led field-goal drives in the third and fourth quarters. Renfree, a second-year player from Duke, completed 6 of 15 passes for 108 yards.<br /> <br /> Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman had 10 carries for 50 yards and one catch for 57 yards. Another rookie, Bernard Reedy, caught two passes for 61 yards.<br /> <br /> Atlanta running back Antone Smith had two big plays negated by penalties.<br /> <br /> On Atlanta's opening drive, Ryan dumped a short pass to Smith from the Miami 46. Smith took off for an apparent big gain to the Dolphins 11, but an illegal formation penalty brought the play back.<br /> <br /> In the second quarter, Smith broke free on what appeared to be a 76-yard touchdown run, but a holding penalty against Falcons rookie right tackle Jake Matthews wiped out the play.<br /> <br /> NOTES: Miami QBs Matt Moore (shoulder) and Pat Devlin (hamstring) were held out. ... Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he had no update on RB Damien Williams, who was carted off the field with an undisclosed injury late in the game. ... Miami S Reshad Jones, who on Friday was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, played with the other defensive starters.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 6 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 7 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 7 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 7 months ago )
Professional Sports
Braves send Wood, Johnson to Dodgers in blockbuster, 3-team trade
The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff on the eve of the trade deadline, completing a 13-player deal with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins on Thursday that sent two starters and two relievers to the NL West leader.
By The Associated Press
11:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Braves fall to Phillies behind Brown, Harang
Domonic Brown homered and Aaron Harang snapped his losing streak at eight starts, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.
By The Associated Press
10:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
Atlanta Hawks player arrested after brief Banks County chase
An Atlanta Hawks player faces felony drug charges after the vehicle he was riding in ran from Banks County deputies about 9 a.m. Thursday.
6:02PM ( 7 hours ago )
Bubba Russell grabs Limited Late Model win at Hartwell
Bubba Russell moved to the front of the Limited Late Model field Saturday night and went on to score the victory at Hartwell Speedway in Hartwell, Ga.
4:00PM ( 9 hours ago )
Orioles complete sweep of Braves
Chris Tillman took a three-hitter into the ninth inning, Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy homered and the Baltimore Orioles beat the skidding Atlanta Braves 2-0 on Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.
By The Associated Press
7:05AM ( 18 hours ago )