Falcons ground-and-pound way to win over Ravens

A quarter-by-quarter look at the Falcons 20-19 victory over the Ravens on Thursday at the Georgia Dome.


Big play: On first-and-10 from Baltimore's 41, Ravens wide receiver Marlon Brown, a former Georgia Bulldog, put a double-move on rookie cornerback Jalen Collins and broke free for a 42-yard gain. The deep pass from former Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub was on the money. Collins, the Falcons' second-round pick from LSU, made he tackle. The big play led to a Ravens' field goal.

Turning point: On the Falcons' touchdown drive, they overcame a holding penalty by left tackle Tyler Polumbus, who started for Jake Matthews (back injury). On a third-and-8 from the Ravens' 15, quarterback Sean Renfree completed a 13-yard pass over the middle to tight end Jacob Tamme. After a yard run by Tevin Coleman, fullback Collin Mooney slammed into the end zone for the touchdown. Tamme left the game with a back injury.

The takeaway: The Falcons, who were determined to run the ball, flashed a running attack with Coleman and Terron Ward carrying the load.

Score: Falcons 7, Ravens 3


Big play: Rookie wide receiver Justin Hardy, who was returning punts with Devin Hester out with a turf toe injury, had a spectacular 70-yard return. Hardy was blasted after making the catch. He maintained his balance and darted up the field, weaving in and out of traffic until he was tackled at the Ravens' 5-yard line. The offense was stuffed and the Falcons settled for a field goal.

Turning point: Hardy's big return. He also gotten open deep earlier, but Sean Renfree's pass was under-thrown. Hardy's move to the ball resulted in a 37-yard pass interference.

The takeaway: Hardy is fearless.

Halftime score: Falcons 13, Ravens 6


Big play: On third-and-8 from the 25, Falcons wide receiver Carlton Mitchell went up high to haul down a pass from Renfree. He was running underneath the coverage and weaved his way across the field and into the end zone on a nice catch-and-run. Backup quarterback Rex Grossman entered the game with 10:19 to play.

Turning point: After the Falcons were forced to punt, backup tight end D.J. Tialavea hustled down in coverage and forced a fumble. Cornerback Dezmen Southward recovered it at Baltimore's 38.

The takeaway: Southward may have earned him a spot on the 53-man roster with his fumble recovery and the big-hit he put on Baltimore fullback Fitzgerald Toussaint on third-and-10 from Baltimore's 5 to force a punt. Let the experiment to convert him to a corner continue.

Score: Falcons 20, Ravens 6.


Big play: Rookie defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, a fifth-round pick, sacked Baltimore quarterback Bryn Renner on third-and-7 from Baltimore's 48 to to force a punt. Jarrett, who turned in his strongest effort of the exhibition season, dropped Renner for a 12-yard loss.

Turning point: With the Falcons unable to run out the clock with Grossman at the controls, they were forced to punt. Baltimore wide receiver Daniel Brown came in from the right side and blocked Bosher's punt. Baltimore scored on a touchdown pass, but the two-point conversion try with :40 left was incomplete.

The takeaway: Rex Grossman was a bit rusty as he completed 4-of-9 passes for 41 yards. Southward has a ways to go in coverage as a cornerback.

Score: Falcons 20, Ravens 19