Falcons’ report card: Coleman powered rushing attack

The Falcons’ reserves held on for a 20-19 victory over the Ravens in the exhibition season finale Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

The highlight of the game was the rushing attack, led by rookie Tevin Coleman.

“The first touchdown drive was 75 yards, (and) 62 of the 75 came on the ground, so I was pleased to see that,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “I thought Tevin had some nice runs in that, and we saw some speed from him.”

The much-maligned offensive line must get some credit for opening some running lanes for the backs.

Here are the grades from the win.

Game ball: James Stone. He started at center and led the unit that powered the rushing attack a week after having a rough outing against the Dolphins.

Quarterbacks, C. Matt Ryan started the game, handed off the ball to Coleman on one play and went to the bench. Sean Renfree took over and completed 10 of 15 passes for 75 yards and one touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 100.7. Rex Grossman took over at 10:19 of the third quarter. He was rusty and nearly threw a horrible interception late.

Running backs, A. Coleman flashed the speed he showed at Indiana while rushing for more than 2,000 yards last season. He rushed eight times for 56 yards. Terron Ward had a strong outing, while rushing for 69 yards on 18 carries. The Falcons may have problems trying to get him through waivers and to the practice squad. "He's been somebody who has completely impressed us from the very first time that he's been here in terms of being on the details," Quinn said. "When you go into the running backs room, he's one of those guys who wants to answer every question. … He's had a really good camp."

Wide receivers/tight ends, C-plus. Julio Jones, like Ryan, played one snap. Roddy White was around but not dressed to play, and his right elbow was still swollen. Justin Hardy flash some big-play ability on offense and special teams. Carlton Mitchell had a nice catch-and-run for a touchdown. Nick Williams caught six passes for 35 yards. Tight end Jacob Tamme had a key catch in the opening touchdown drive before leaving with a back injury. D.J. Tialavea forced a fumble on special teams.

Offensive line, C. The starting line opened holes in the run game. But the backups gave up four sacks and six quarterback hits.

Defensive line, B. The Ravens were held to 67 yards rushing on 21 carries. Rookie Grady Jarrett put on a show. He had a sack and three tackles for a loss. Malliciah Goodman and Cliff Matthews finished with three sacks each.

Linebackers, B. The Falcons wanted to look at Derek Akunne, Nate Stupar and Allen Bradford. Akunne, who missed some time with a foot injury, is a speedy prospect who could end up on the practice squad. Bradford led the defense with seven tackles. Stupar had six tackles and Akunne five. With Brooks Reed out after groin surgery for up to six weeks, Kroy Bierman and O'Brien Schofield are next on the team's depth chart.

Defensive backs, C. Second-round pick Jalen Collins was beaten by Baltimore's Marlon Brown on a double-move for a 42-yard gain. Quinn said that a technique issue can rectify Collins' coverage on double-move routes. Quinn was still upbeat about his play. "The effort and the intensity that we are now seeing, that's what it takes to play outside at that position in this scheme," Quinn said. "He's found that. That's alive. He's captured it. We can't wait to see where he can take it." Safety William Moore started and played 18 snaps from scrimmage and two on special teams.

Special teams, C. The Falcons had a punt blocked late, which could have cost them a game. Kicker Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field-goal attempt, which was his limit last season. He'd been making 56-yard field goals in practice. Bosher averaged 52.4 yards on five punts with a net of 30.8 yards. He placed two punts down inside the 20. Rookie Justin Hardy had a nice 70-yard punt return.

Coaching, B. The first-team defense was strong again. The first-team offense got the rushing game moving. The special-teams breakdown on the punt could have been costly.

Next up: Falcons host the Philadelphia Eagles at 7:10 p.m. Monday at the Georgia Dome in the regular-season opener.