Final

Titans 3

(2-1, 0-1 away)

Falcons 17

(1-2, 1-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 22, 2008

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA 

1 2 3 4 T
TEN 3 0 0 03
ATL 0 3 7 717

Ryan's second-half strike carries Falcons past Titans

ATLANTA (AP) -- Matt Ryan was a winner in his first preseason start, perhaps moving the rookie closer to being named the Falcons' regular-season starter.

Ryan opened the second half with a touchdown pass to give Atlanta the lead in a 17-3 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Friday night.

Ryan, the third pick in the draft, completed 15 of 21 passes for 102 yards with a 1-yard scoring pass to another rookie, Harry Douglas, and no interceptions. He said he had "a lot of fun."

"I thought I did some good things and I thought I made some mistakes," Ryan said.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said he would study the film before saying how the game might affect the quarterback competition with Chris Redman, who finished last season as Atlanta's starter and played behind the rookie in the second half.

"My feeling is the tape doesn't lie," Smith said.

Ryan outplayed Tennessee starter Vince Young, the No. 3 pick in 2006. Young was 9-of-18 passing for 102 yards and an interception.

Young led the Titans (2-1 preseason) on a 10-play drive for a field goal on their first possession, but they couldn't score again.

"We definitely need to get into the end zone," Young said. "That would be a relief."

Added Titans tight end Alge Crumpler, who made the Pro Bowl four times in Atlanta: "We're a better team than this. We'll get better. We're nowhere near panic."

Crumpler caught two passes for nine yards in his return to the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta rookie Thomas Brown scored on a 9-yard run with 3:22 left to add to the lead.

Ryan played the full first half, completing 8 of 11 passes for 47 yards, but he couldn't produce a touchdown drive.

The biggest letdown for the Ryan-led offense came just before halftime.

Adam Jennings' 38-yard punt return gave the Falcons (1-2) the ball at the Titans' 16 with 1:15 left. Ryan's passes to Laurent Robinson and Roddy White in the end zone were too high.

"I thought we did a lot of good things as an offense, but I made a couple of poor throws toward the end of the first half," Ryan said. "We were able to come out and score at the beginning of the third quarter, and that was a good way to end it."

Jason Elam ended the disappointing possession by missing a 33-yard field goal attempt, leaving the score 3-3.

Ryan led the Falcons on a nine-play, 71-yard touchdown drive to open the second half. Running back Jerious Norwood's 39-yard run to the 1 set up Ryan's scoring pass to Douglas.

After making the catch, Douglas immediately pointed to Ryan, who left the field on a high note.

"I think he played well and he handled himself well against a good defense," Smith said.

Redman led a 14-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. On third-and-goal from the 9, Brown ran left and then cut back right through the Tennessee defense for the score.

Redman was 9-for-11 passing for 83 yards. The Falcons' other two quarterbacks, Joey Harrington and D.J. Shockley, did not play.

Yet another Atlanta rookie, cornerback Chevis Jackson, intercepted a Young pass on the last play of the first quarter to end a long drive. Jackson grabbed a pass intended for Brandon Jones at the Falcons' 25 and returned the ball 22 yards.

The Titans' first turnover of the preseason set up a six-play drive that ended with Elam's 39-yard field goal.

John Vaughn ended the Titans' first drive with a 50-yard field goal. Young completed passes of 13 yards to Chris Johnson, 21 yards to Bo Scaife and 16 yards to Justin Cage.

The Titans couldn't maintain the momentum.

"We have to buckle down and improve before we get into the regular season," said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher. "We weren't able to complete drives. We need to score points."

Titans running back LenDale White was held out with sore ribs. Johnson, a first-round pick, had 11 carries for 35 yards and two catches for 23 yards, all in the first half.

"He made some pretty good runs," Fisher said.

Kerry Collins replaced Young to open the second half and was 1-for-8 passing for 20 yards. Ingle Martin was 3-for-6 for 35 yards.

Brian Finneran and Michael Jenkins each caught five passes for Atlanta.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Tennessee
Atlanta
1st Downs1419
3rd down efficiency
5-137-15
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Yards215320
Yards per play3.85.1
Total Drives02
Passing140175
Comp-Att
13-3224-32
Yards per pass
4.45.5
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-171-10
Rushing75145
Rushing Attempts
2230
Yards per rush
3.44.8
Penalties8-629-101
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
10
Possession23:5436:06

Passing Leaders

TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Young9/181025.7011-8
Martin3/6355.8001-3
ATLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Ryan15/211024.9101-10
Redman9/11837.5000-0

Rushing Leaders

TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson11353.209
Ganther4174.305
ATLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Norwood45313.3039
Snelling9465.1019

Receiving Leaders

TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gage23216.0016
Johnson22311.5013
ATLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Finneran55310.6017
Jenkins5448.8013

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTENATL
FG10:51John Vaughn 50 Yd 30
SECOND QUARTERTENATL
FG12:34Jason Elam 49 Yd 33
THIRD QUARTERTENATL
TD10:39Harry Douglas 1 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick) 310
TD03:22Thomas Brown 9 Yd Run (Jason Elam Kick) 317