ATLANTA–A running blog from the Ravens’ 13-10 loss at the Falcons on Friday night …
10:30 p.m.: Quick final totals: Ravens QB Troy Smith finished 11-of-18 passing for 86 yards.
10:27 p.m.: Brian Billick was a hero to the Georgia Dome and both teams as he decided the Ravens should go for a win instead of a Rhys Lloyd potential field goal. A false start on fourth-and-20 at the 44 took the Ravens out of range and QB Troy Smith’s interception ended the contest. WR Matt Willis caught five passes for 40 yards.
The Ravens had only 45 rushing yards to Atlanta’s 110. The Falcons also had the ball for 34:50.
Baltimore finishes the preseason with a 1-3 mark while Atlanta was 2-2. The Ravens will make their final cuts on Saturday and have over a week to prepare for their Monday Night Football opener at Cincinnati on Sept. 10. The Falcons will travel to Minnesota for their opener next Sunday.
10:16 p.m.: A Ravens fumble by TE Marcus Freeman gave the ball back to the Falcons, but not so fast my friend … Prater missed a 44-yarder that would have iced the game. Baltimore will get one last chance from their 34.
10:11 p.m.: Atlanta K Matt Prater may have done us all a favor as he kicked a 45-yard field goal with 3:26 to play to give the Falcons a 13-10 lead.
The paid attendance figure here was just announced as 71,377 … the actual in-house was closer to 30,000 at kickoff.
9:54 p.m.: What is the worst thing that can happen in the final preseason game, outside of injuries, you ask? Overtime … Falcons K Matt Prater, who was signed earlier this week, made a 33-yard field goal with 9:47 left to tie the game at 10-10. Here’s hoping someone gets a turnover and everyone can get home.
9:51 p.m.: Juggling act — Falcons WR Vincent Marshall caught a long pass from QB Casey Bramlet and as he was trying to run away from a Ravens defender, he lost the handle on the ball, juggled it and re-secured it for a 39-yard pickup. Bramlet was hit by CB David Pittman as he threw.
The third quarter numbers are in: Troy Smith completed 5-of-8 passes for 54 yards.
9:44 p.m.: Quotes from Brian Billick on the first half — (on some starters not playing) “Because of the way things happened in Washington, we needed a longer look at some of the younger players tonight. We got a lot of film on some guys we needed to take a closer look at before we make our cuts tomorrow. We also got some snaps for some of the subs who will get limited playing time starting in Cincinnati.”
(on the first half) “We did some good things in the first half, including the big play from Kyle (Boller) to Demetrius (Williams). Kyle played the pump fake well and hit Demetrius down the sideline. Special teams were a little sloppy, but that comes with all of the young guys playing.”
Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan — (on testing his young players and Atlanta’s offense) “Chris Redman has run that offense since he was in college and he gave our young defensive players a good test. We wanted to give our young DBs a lot of plays and have them get tested. They got both. I think they did OK, but we’ll see more when we take a look at the tape tomorrow before Ozzie (Newsome) makes the cuts. We’ll have some interesting conversations before tomorrow. There are some tough decisions to be made.”
QB Kyle Boller did say in his quotes, “(Atlanta’s defense was) playing pretty vanilla. We were trying to take advantage of the holes in the defense and get the ball down the field.”
9:25 p.m.: Kyle Boller gave way to Troy Smith to start the third quarter. The Ravens went three and out on their first possession of the third quarter, but Smith and the offense found their stride the next time they had the ball as they drove 12 plays for a field goal. K Rhys Lloyd came on for a 55-yard field goal and nailed it down the middle with plenty of room to spare for a 10-7 Baltimore advantage.
9:08 p.m.: HALFTIME STATS — Thanks to a glitch in the official stat system here at the Georgia Dome, we just got the first half totals. The Ravens out-gained the Falcons 165-154, with most of it coming through the air: Ravens 142 yards, Falcons 117 yards. Rushing-wise, the Falcons out-gained Baltimore 37-23.
Boller was 9-of-15 passing for 144 yards and he hit seven different receivers in the half (WR Demetrius Williams caught 2 passes for 78 yards and a TD). Musa Smith led the rushing attack with three carries for 16 yards.
The best news was that the Ravens only had one accepted penalty for five yards in the first 30 minutes. Baltimore was also 3-of-7 on third down chances (43 percent).
Redman had a big half for the Falcons as he completed 11-of-16 passes for 117 yards and one TD. He was under a heavy Ravens rush in a large part of the half.
8:37 p.m.: Koch made up for his earlier elevator shaft punt with a 52-yard bomb late in the half that was downed at the Falcons 1.
8:25 p.m.: Bannan went back in on the next defensive series for the Ravens while Stills is standing on the sideline in uniform chatting with teammates.
Ravens P Sam Koch knocked a punt almost straight up. It officially went 13 yards where it was fair caught by a surprised Otis Amey of the Falcons. He probably didn’t realize that he only had the punter and one other blocker to beat once he caught the ball.
8:15 p.m.: Two Ravens — LB Gary Stills and DT Justin Bannan — were both injured on the same play during a Falcons drive early in the second quarter. Both left the field with trainers under their own power.
8:04 p.m.: Looking very comfortable in an offense he worked as a collegian at Louisville under Bobby Petrino, Chris Redman used a variety of moves to get from under the Ravens’ defensive pressure to lead the Falcons on a 10-play, 74-yard drive to tie the game late in the first quarter. Redman was 6-for-6 passing for 66 yards in the drive.
He might need it to stay as the Falcons’ No. 2 QB as Jacksonville’s Byron Leftwich might be available by trade or waivers …
7:52 p.m.: QB Kyle Boller got great protection and plenty of time to find WR Demetrius Williams in stride for a 59-yard TD and a 7-0 lead. Boller is 3-of-5 passing for 79 yards to date.
7:46 p.m.: A total of four regular starters on offense (Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Jarret Johnson and Dawan Landry) and four on defense (Jason Brown, Chris Chester at C, Adam Terry at LT and Willis McGahee) actually started for the Ravens.
One of the biggest hits in the preseason so far came on a punt return as the Ravens’ B.J. Sams was decked by Falcons FB Corey McIntyre.
Former Ravens starting QB Chris Redman got the start for the Falcons in place of Joey Harrington.
7:33 p.m.: The Falcons have won the toss and will receive. A scattered crowd of probably 30,000 in the Georgia Dome. There were some cheers for the Ravens heard when they were introduced prior to the game.
7:25 p.m.: Starters for the Ravens (replacing the regulars): WR Demetrius Williams, LT Adam Terry, C Chris Chester, RG Ben Grubbs, RT Marshal Yanda, TE Quinn Sypniewski, WR Devard Darling, QB Kyle Boller, FB Le’Ron McClain, LDT Dwan Edwards, ROLB Edgar Jones, MLB Dennis Haley, RLB Prescott Burgess, LCB Derrick Martin, RCB David Pittman and FS Gerome Sapp.
7:00 p.m.: Not playing for the Ravens tonight (unless an emergency situation): S Ed Reed, CB Chris McAllister, CB Samari Rolle, LB Ray Lewis, OLB Terrell Suggs, ILB Bart Scott, C Mike Flynn, LT Jonathan Ogden, TE Daniel Wilcox, WR Derrick Mason, TE Todd Heap, WR Mark Clayton and DT Trevor Pryce.
Questions, comments, etc.: ChrisPika@gmail.com.