Sunday November 29th, 2015 3:45AM

Yates states case to be Falcons' backup QB

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- T.J. Yates made a strong case to be Atlanta's backup quarterback Thursday night.<br /> <br /> Yates threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in both teams' preseason finale.<br /> <br /> Yates had shown little in the team's first three exhibitions, completing 39.4 percent of his passes, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Second-year player Sean Renfree posted better numbers and seemingly had an edge in the competition to be Matt Ryan's backup.<br /> <br /> But Yates shined against the Jaguars.<br /> <br /> His highlight throw was a 67-yard touchdown strike to Freddie Martino in the second quarter, a deep ball that put Atlanta up 21-7. His other TD came on a swing pass to Antone Smith, who broke several tackles during the 66-yard catch and run.<br /> <br /> Yates completed 15 of 20 passes and was sacked twice.<br /> <br /> Renfree was 9-of-12 passing for 62 yards.<br /> <br /> Ryan didn't play, spending the game on the sideline with running back Steven Jackson and receivers Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. Defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux also got the night off.<br /> <br /> Jacksonville held out a number of first-teamers, too.<br /> <br /> Quarterback Chad Henne, running back Toby Gerhart, safety Johnathan Cyprien, linebacker Paul Posluszny, left tackle Luke Joeckel, tight end Marcedes Lewis, defensive end Chris Clemons and defensive tackle Roy Miller were among the team's healthy scratches.<br /> <br /> Kicker Josh Scobee, safety Winston Guy, cornerback Alan Ball, safety Craig Loston, right tackle Austin Pasztor, guard Zane Beadles, offensive tackle Josh Wells, tight end Clay Harbor and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks were held out because of injuries.<br /> <br /> With Henne resting, first-round draft pick Blake Bortles got the start for Jacksonville and extended his impressive preseason.<br /> <br /> Bortles completed 4 of 6 passes for 86 yards, including a 57-yard TD strike to fellow rookie Marqise Lee on the first play of the second quarter.<br /> <br /> "It was a good play," said Bortles, the third overall pick in May's draft. "I had him on a seam and threw a little later than I wanted to, but he did a good job staying alive and running down the field to make a play."<br /> <br /> Bortles completed 32 of 51 passes for 521 yards in four exhibition games, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.<br /> <br /> "I think it's going really well for us," Bortles said. "We've gone out wanting to do a couple of things this preseason, and we've accomplished a lot. We have a lot of work left to do, but I think everybody is happy with the preseason that we've had and is looking forward to getting ready for Week 1."<br /> <br /> Despite Bortles' steady improvement, he's a lock to open the season on the bench behind Henne.<br /> <br /> Henne ended the preseason 25-of-38 passing for 230 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions.<br /> <br /> More pressing questions for Jacksonville include the offensive line and the receiving corps.<br /> <br /> Rookie center Luke Bowanko, a sixth-round pick from Virginia, started in place of Mike Brewster and looked sharp again. Brewster played in the second half and grounded a snap past quarterback Ricky Stanzi - his third bad snap of the preseason.<br /> <br /> Receivers Tandon Doss (ankle) and Ace Sanders (leave of absence) made their preseason debuts, but Doss sustained another ankle injury and could be out a while. Sanders is suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.<br /> <br /> Jacksonville rookie cornerback Rashaad Reynolds also left with a hand injury.
© Copyright 2015
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 ( 10 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 ( 10 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 ( 10 months ago )
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 ( 10 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 ( 10 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 ( 10 months ago )
Professional Sports
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 3 hours ago )
Watson puts up 4 TDs and No. 1 Clemson moves to 12-0 with 37-32 win over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Deshaun Watson isn't giving up on Clemson's step-by-step approach, not when it's worked so well. Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth...
11:58PM ( 3 hours ago )
Boys basketball: Vikings bounce back from loss with win over Paideia
Jacquen Hopkins led four players in double figures with 14 points as East Hall beat Paideia 68-54 Saturday in the Hoopsgiving Classic at Holy Innocents High School.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
Girls basketball: East Hall knocks off Alabama state champs in Hoopsgiving Classic
The East Hall girls knocked off defending Class AAAAAAA Alabama state champion Huntsville 65-37 Saturday in the Hoopsgiving Classic at Holy Innocents High School.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
Dogs drop tough road game at Seton Hall
The Georgia men’s basketball team (2-2) lost a hard-fought game on the road,69-62, to the Seton Hall Pirates (5-0) Saturday night at the Prudential Center. The Bulldogs were led by by forward Yante Maten, who poured in a career-high 21 points.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:23PM ( 5 hours ago )