2008 Atlanta Falcons season

2008 Atlanta Falcons season

Infobox NFL_season
logo =
team = Atlanta Falcons
year = 2008
record = 3-2
division_place = TBD NFC South
coach = Mike Smith
stadium = Georgia Dome
playoffs = TBD
The 2008 Atlanta Falcons season is the 43rd season for the team in the National Football League. The Falcons will be trying to improve from their 4-12 season in 2007.

On January 23, 2008, the Falcons announced that Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Smith, would be the head coach in 2008. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3211259 Falcons hire Mike Smith] ]

2008 Offseason


*31 Named Paul Boudreau offensive line coach
*30 Named Chris Scelfo tight ends coach and Paul Dunn assistant offensive line coach
*29 Named Keith Armstrong special teams coordinator, Jeff Fish strength and conditioning coach, Bill Hughan assistant strength and conditioning coach and retrained Tom McMahon as assistant special teams coach
*26 Named Terry Robiskie offensive coordinator, Ray Hamilton defensive line coach, Gerald Brown running backs coach and Glenn Thomas offensive quality control coach
*25 Named Mike Mularkey offensive coordinator
*24 Named Emmitt Thomas assistant head coach, Bill Musgrave quarterbacks coach and Brian VanGorder defensive coordinator
*23 Named Mike Smith head coach
*16 Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer signed to same position with Cincinnati Bengals
*13 Named former Patriots director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff as new general manager
*13 Announced a 17-month extension of contract of team president Rich McKay
*8 Signed DE Willie Evans to reserve/futures contract


*29 Re-signed QB Chris Redman
*15 Released TE Alge Crumpler, QB Byron Leftwich, T Wayne Gandy, CB Lewis Sanders, WR Jamin Elliott, LB Marcus Wilkins and DT Rod Coleman.
*11 Waived WR Todd Watkins
*9 Assistant General Manager Billy Devaney named Executive Vice President of Player Personnel for the St. Louis Rams
*6 Named Alvin Reynolds defensive backs coach
*5 Re-signed free agent TE George Cooper
*4 Named Joe Danna defensive quality control coach


*24 Retained exclusive rights to DT Montavious Stanley
*21 Signed free agent K Jason Elam
*20 Traded CB DeAngelo Hall to Oakland for a second-round pick in 2008 and a fifth-round pick in 2009
*19 Retained exclusive rights to T Tyson Clabo
*14 Signed free agent TE Jason Rader
*12 Re-signed QB Joey Harrington
*10 Signed free agent C Alex Stepanovich
*10 Signed free agent DT Tim Anderson
*7 Signed free agents DT Rashad Moore, DT Kindal Moorehead and DE Simon Fraser
*5 Released QB Joey Harrington
*3 Released RB Warrick Dunn
*2 Agreed to terms with free agent TE Ben Hartsock and RB Michael Turner
*1 Agreed to terms with free agent S Erik Coleman and CB Von Hutchins


*29 Signed free agents WR Chandler Williams and DB Nick Turnbull
*28 Signed undrafted free agents LB Isaac Brown (Central Michigan University), P Jimmie Kaylor (Colorado State University), CB Glenn Sharpe (Miami, Fla.), FS D.J. Wolfe (Oklahoma University), DE Brandon Miller (Georgia University), RB Jamar Brittingham (Bloomsburg University) and T Michael Butterworth (Slippery Rock University)
*27 Drafted CB Chevis Jackson (R3-68 overall), WR Harry Douglas (R3-84 overall), S Thomas DeCoud (R3-98 overall) LB Robert James (R5-138), LB Kroy Biermann (R5-154 overall), RB Thomas Brown (R6-172 overall), CB Wilrey Fontenot (R7-212 overall) and TE Keith Zinger (R7-232 overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft
*26 Drafted QB Matt Ryan (R1-3 overall), OT Sam Baker (R1-21 overall) and LB Curtis Lofton (R2-37 overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft
*26 Traded two second round choices (#34 and #48 overall) and a fourth round choice (#103) to the Washington Redskins for a first round choice (#21 overall), a third round choice (#84 overall) and a fifth round choice (#154 overall)
*24 Signed free agent K Kevin Lovell


*23 Waived SS D.J. Wolfe
*22 Waived P Jimmie Kaylor
*21 Signed free agent TE Brad Listorti
*20 Agreed to contract terms with QB Matt Ryan (first-round draft choice)
*19 Released LB Earl Everett and DB Nick Turnbull and signed WR Tony Gonzalez (wide receiver) , S Eric Brock and S Jamal Lewis


*26 Signed Draft pick DE Kroy Biermann
*23 Released C Doug Datish
*20 - Released OT Michael Butterworth, DE Derrick Jones, S Jamal Lewis and OL Kurt Quarterman
*20 Agreed to contract terms with Draft pick WR Harry Douglas
*20 Agreed to contract terms with veteran free agent S Deke Cooper
*18 Signed Draft pick RB Thomas Brown
*17 Released DB Jimmy Williams and signed Draft pick Wilrey Fontenot
*10 Signed Draft picks CB Chevis Jackson and S Thomas DeCoud
*10 Waived TE George Cooper
*7 Signed Draft pick, TE Keith Zinger to a four-year contract


*26 Signed Draft picks T Sam Baker
*25 Signed CB Blue Adams, LB Coy Wire and OL Michael Butterworth, waived CB Glenn Sharpe and OL Pat McCoy, reached an injury settlement with LB Travis Williams, placed DT Trey Lewis on the active/non-football injury list and placed T Renardo Foster and the physically unable to perform list
*25 Signed Draft pick LB Curtis Lofton
*23 Named Georgia Force Head Coach Doug Plank Falcons coaching assistant
*15 Signed Draft pick LB Robert James
*18 Released WR Tony Gonzalez (wide receiver)


*31 Claimed DT Jason Jefferson off waivers, released DT Tim Anderson and signed TE Keith Zinger, WR Eric Weems, OL D’Anthony Batiste, DB Glenn Sharpe, DB Eric Brock and DE Brandon Miller to the practice squad.
*30 Waived OL D’Anthony Batiste, S Eric Brock, OL Michael Butterworth, S Deke Cooper, C Doug Datish, DE Willie Evans, QB Joey Harrington, CB Wilrey Fontenot, OL Kynan Forney, DE Brandon Miller, DT Rashad Moore, OL Terrance Pennington, LB Mickey Pimentel, TE Marcus Pollard, CB Glenn Sharpe, DT Montavious Stanley, S Daren Stone, LB Cameron Vaughn, WR Eric Weems, WR Chandler Williams, TE Keith Zinger and placed RB Thomas Brown on injured reserve
*26 Placed DT Trey Lewis on the reserve-non football injury list and T Renardo Foster on the reserve-physically unable to perform list
*24 Released TE George Cooper and signed TE Marcus Pollard
*19 Released WR Joe Horn and waived/injured LB Isaac Brown
*11 Waived/injured TE Brad Listorti
*7 Signed C Doug Datish and waived K Kevin Lovell
*6 Signed LB Mickey Pimentel and placed LB Robert James on injured reserve
*4 Released RB Jamar Brittingham and signed TE George Cooper

2008 Schedule

Regular Season

Week 1: vs. Detroit Lions

Linescore Amfootball
"at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia"
* Game time: 1:00 PM EDT
* Game weather: None (Domed Stadium)
* Game attendance: 62,310
* Referee: Ron Winter
* TV announcers: (FOX): Matt Vasgersian, J.C. Pearson, & Nischelle Turner

The Falcons began their 2008 campaign at home against the Detroit Lions. In the first quarter, Atlanta immediately took flight at rookie QB Matt Ryan throws his first career NFL pass to WR Michael Jenkins for a 62-yard TD pass. Afterwards, RB Michael Turner (acquired from the Chargers) made an immediate impact as he got a 66-yard TD run and a 5-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Lions would respond with RB Kevin Smith getting a 5-yard TD run, while QB Jon Kitna completed a 21-yard TD pass to WR Roy Williams.

In the third quarter, the Falcons went back to work as kicker Jason Elam got a 50-yard field goal, while RB Jerious Norwood got a 10-yard TD run. Detroit would try to rally as Kitna completed a 1-yard TD pass to TE Casey FitzSimmons. Fortunately, Atlanta closed out their rout in the fourth quarter with Elam nailing a 25-yard field goal.

With the impressive win, the Falcons began their season at 1-0.

QB Matt Ryan would have a good rookie debut completing 9 of 13 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. RB Michael Turner had an outstanding Falcon debut, setting a single-game franchise record with 220 rushing yards. Ryan, who became the first rookie to start a season for the Falcons since Steve Bartkowski in 1975, finished with a solid 161 passing yards and 137.0 quarterback rating. Turner led a ground game that picked up a franchise-record 318 rushing yards 7.6 yards per carry.Game Notes.

*With a 34-21 victory, Mike Smith earned his first win as a Head Coach in the NFL
*Following a 44-41 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the 2007 season finale, the Falcons opened the 2008 campaign with 34 points en route to a victory, posting back-to-back games with over 30 points.
*The win over Detroit gave the Falcons their first season opening win since 2006 (20-6 vs. Carolina), their first season opening win at the Georgia Dome since 2005 (vs. Philadelphia, 14-10) and their first win against the Lions at home since 2002 (36-15).
*By opening the game as a starter, LB Keith Brooking extended his consecutive games starting streak to 113 games, dating back to 2000, which moves him past long-time C Jeff Van Note into second place all-time in Falcons history. Former T Bob Whitfield holds the record with 123 consecutive starts (from Wk 1, 1993 – Wk 11, 2000).
*Center Todd McClure also extended his consecutive games starting streak to 97-straight games to move past DE Patrick Kerney and WR Terance Mathis into fifth place all-time in that category.
* The Falcons had 10 players earn opening day starts for the first time in their NFL careers. The players lining up as starters for the first time today included: QB Matt Ryan, LT Sam Baker, RB Michael Turner, TE Ben Hartsock, RG Harvey Dahl, RT Tyson Clabo, DT Jonathan Babineaux, MLB Curtis Lofton, CB Brent Grimes and CB Chris Houston.
*Curtis Lofton became the first rookie to man the middle of the Falcons defense on opening day since linebacker Buddy Curry in 1980. Ironically, it was exactly 28 years ago to this date, September 7, 1980, that Curry (the team’s second round draft pick) started in the middle of the Falcons defense (at Minnesota, 8 tackles, 0.5 sack).

*The Falcons broke a team rushing record with 318 yards and 7.4 avg. against Detroit. The previous record was set on September 17, 2006 against Tampa Bay with 306 yards. Atlanta’s 318 yards marked the first game Atlanta totaled over 200 rushing yards since December 3, 2006 against Washington getting 256 yards.

*On Atlanta’s first offensive possession of the 2008 season, the Falcons recorded a three-play 74-yard drive that was capped off by a WR Michael Jenkins 62-yard touchdown reception from rookie QB Matt Ryan, his first career NFL pass.
*Matt Ryan became the first quarterback to throw a touchdown on his first career NFL pass since October 8 , 2000 when Michael Bishop completed the feat as member of the New England Patriots .
*Michael Jenkins 62-yard touchdown reception was the longest of his career and the longest touchdown pass recorded by the Falcons since December 23 , 2007 when Chris Redman completed a 74-touchdown against Arizona.
*Atlanta’s 62-yard touchdown to WR Michael Jenkins on the first offensive possession of the game was the longest touchdown pass for the Falcons on opening day since September 3 , 2000, when Chris Chandler completed a 48-yard touchdown in a 36-28 win.
*The last time the Falcons scored a touchdown on their opening offensive possession of a game came against the Carolina Panthers on November 11 , 2007. Atlanta won the game 20-13.
*On Atlanta’s second possession of the game, RB Michael Turner rushed for a 66-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead. The 66-yard scamper is the fourth-longest rush in Turner’s career and the seventh-longest rush in Falcons history.
*Michael Turner’s 117 rushing yards in the first quarter are the most in an opening quarter of a game for the Falcons in at least two decades.
*Atlanta’s 216 yards of total offense in the first quarter is also the highest total in over two decades. The previous high for the Falcons came on October 13, 1991 with 172 yards against San Francisco.
*The Falcons 21 points in the first quarter marked the fifth time in team history Atlanta posted that total in the opening period. The last time it happened came on November 23, 2003 against Tennessee.
*On Atlanta’s second offensive possession of the second half, the Falcons drove 68 yards on five plays for their fourth touchdown of the game. The drive was highlighted by a Matt Ryan 46-yard pass to WR Roddy White and a 10-yard touchdown run by RB Jerious Norwood.
* Jerious Norwood finished the day with 14 carries for 93 yards while logging his first touchdown since October 15, 2007. Norwood’s 93 rushing yards are the most in a game for the three-year veteran since December 2, 2007 at St. Louis.
*In the last two seasons, the Falcons scored a combined total of 16 rushing touchdowns. Against the Lions, Atlanta posted three rushing scores.
*John Abraham posted his first three-sack day since 2004 after dropping Lions QB Jon Kitna once in the first quarter and twice in the final period of play. Abraham now has 70.5 career sacks, 11 of which have come on opening day. Abraham’s last three-sack day came on October 10, 2004 as a member of the New York Jets.
*Lawyer Milloy halted Detroit’s first offensive drive of the second half when he recorded his 25th career interception. Milloy returned the pick 38 yards inside Lions territory, which led to a Falcons field goal and a 24-14 lead.
*Jason Elam split the uprights on both of his field goal attempts, his first two in a Falcons uniform. The 16-year veteran extended his streak of consecutive field goals to 17 and also notched his 38th field goal of 50-plus yards at the 9:45 mark in the third quarter.
*Michael Turner ran for 220 yards in his debut with the Falcons. This marks the highest single-game rushing record for the Falcons, formerly held by Gerald Riggs, who set the previous record of 202 rushing yards on September 2, 1984.

Week 2: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Linescore Amfootball
"at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida"
* Game time: 4:05 PM EDT
* Game weather: 89°F (Partly Cloudy)
* Game attendance: 63,611
* Referee: Jeff Triplette
* TV announcers: (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, & Nischelle Turner

Following their outstanding home win over the Lions, the Falcons flew to Raymond James Stadium for a Week 2 NFC South duel with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first quarter, Atlanta trailed as Bucs QB Brian Griese completed a 5-yard TD pass to TE John Gilmore. In the second quarter, the Falcons continued to trail as former Falcons RB Warrick Dunn gave Tampa Bay a 17-yard TD run, along with kicker Matt Bryant getting a 33-yard field goal. Atlanta would close out the half with kicker Jason Elam getting a 32-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Falcons crept closer as Elam kicked a 27-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Atlanta tried to rally as Elam nailed a 24-yard field goal. However, the Buccaneers pulled away as RB Earnest Graham got a 68-yard TD run.

With the loss, the Falcons fell to 1-1.


* The Falcons defense allowed Tampa Bay to rush for only two yards in the first quarter on six attempts. The Buccaneers two yards is the lowest total for a Falcons opponent in the first quarter of a game since December 14, 2003 when the Indianapolis Colts posted two rushing yards on seven carries. At the end of the first half, Tampa’s rushing total was 36 yards, the lowest total for a Falcons opponent in the first half of play since December 31, 2006 when Philadelphia only managed 34 yard in the first two quarters.
* Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive in the third quarter, which was capped by a Jason Elam 27-yard field goal. Ryan completed six of seven passes on the drive for 62 yard.
* On his second career carry, wide receiver Harry Douglas took an end-around and rushed for 33 yards to give the Falcons their third first down of the game. The 33-yard scamper is the second longest rush for Atlanta in two games this season.

* With two minutes remaining in the second quarter, wide receiver/punt returner Adam Jennings set a career-high with a 37-yard punt return topping his old mark of 23 yards set in 2007. The return was also the longest for the Falcons since Allen Rossum returned a punt 37 yards against Cleveland on November 12, 2006. Jennings’ punt return led to a Falcons 32-yard field goal by Elam, the first points of the game for Atlanta.
* Elam notched three field goals of 32, 27 and 25 yards to extend his streak of splitting the uprights to 20 consecutive kicks.

* Atlanta defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux dropped Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese in the third quarter for his 5.5th career sack. The sack led to a Tampa Bay punt on its first offensive possession of the second half. Three of Babineaux’s 5.5 career sacks have come in the first two games of a season (2.0 in 2007, 1.0 in 2008).

* Falcons defensive end John Abraham posted his fourth sack of the season and his sixth in three consecutive games when he dropped Griese in the fourth quarter to stall a Buccaneers drive in the red zone. On the sack, Abraham forced a fumble which was recovered by defensive tackle Jason Jefferson. The sack is Abraham’s 14th in the last 17 games and the 71.5th of his career. The fumble recovery by Jefferson was the first of his career.

* Following Abraham’s fourth quarter sack, the Falcons have now recorded three consecutive games with at least two sacks dating back to the 2007 season finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

* Head Coach Mike Smith is one for one in challenges after challenging the spot of the ball on a Roddy White reception in the third quarter. After the review the officials determined White had reached the first down marker, which kept the Atlanta drive alive.

Week 3: vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Linescore Amfootball
"at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia"
* Game time: 1:00 PM EDT
* Game weather: Played Indoors, Domed Stadium
* Game attendance: 63,611
* Referee: Scott Green
* TV announcers: (CBS): Gus Johnson, & Steve Tasker

Michael Turner ran for three touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons scored the first 24 points to beat Kansas City 38-14, giving the Chiefs their 12th straight loss.

Turner had scoring runs of 4, 1 and 2 yards, his first career game with three rushing touchdowns, while leading the Falcons with 104 yards rushing. Jerious Norwood added 75 yards rushing.

Turner's 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter gave Atlanta a 24-0 lead.

Tyler Thigpen , the third starting quarterback in three weeks for Kansas City , threw three interceptions in his first career start. The third interception, by cornerback Chris Houston, was returned 10 yards for a touchdown with 1:01 left in the game.

Chiefs coach Herman Edwards said during the week he would turn to veteran Damon Huard if Thigpen struggled. Thigpen played the full game and was 14-for-36 passing for 128 yards with one touchdown.

The Chiefs' 12th straight loss came on the 11-month anniversary of their last win. They lost their last nine games in 2007 after a 12-10 win at Oakland on Oct. 21, 2007.

The Falcons moved to 2-0 at the Georgia Dome on the season and gave Head Coach Mike Smith his second career win as a head coach

Michael Turner became only the fifth Falcons running back in team history to register three or more touchdowns in a game.

Week 4: at Carolina Panthers

Linescore Amfootball
"at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina"
* Game time: 1:00 PM EST
* Game weather: 78°F (Partly Cloudy)
* Game attendance: 72,688
* Referee: Ed Hochuli
* TV announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, & Charissa Thompson

Coming off their home win over the Chiefs, the Falcons flew to Bank of America Stadium for a Week 4 NFC South duel with the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons found a way to stick around for three quarters in Sunday game at Bank of America Stadium but injuries, dropped passes and untimely penalties filled the afternoon. Atlanta lost starting strong safety Lawyer Milloy in the first half after he took a shot to the ribs and played the entire game without starting left tackle Sam Baker . In the first quarter, Atlanta trailed early as Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart getting an 8-yard TD run. The Falcons responded with kicker Jason Elam getting a 33-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Falcons crept closer as Elam kicked a 44-yard field goal. However, Carolina answered with QB Jake Delhomme completing a 56-yard TD pass to WR Steve Smith. Atlanta closed out the half with Elam getting a 44-yard field goal. The Panthers (3-1, 1-0) lost starting offensive tackles Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah in the game to injury and also went several series without starting cornerback Ken Lucas. But that didn't stop the NFC South leaders from imposing their will on both sides of the ball and put up more than 400 yards of total offense.

In the third quarter, the Panthers increased their lead with kicker John Kasay nailing a 44-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Carolina sealed the win with Delhomme completing a 36-yard TD pass to WR Muhsin Muhammad. The first-year head coach Mike Smith made a concise list in explaining the problems that plagued his offense in Charlotte.

*Third down conversions (the Falcons were 2-of-13)
*Red zone penalties (two knocked the Birds outside the 10)

*six dropped passes(three on third down)

With the loss, the Falcons fell to 2-2.

*Falcons running back Jason Snelling earned his first career start while tight end Justin Peelle started his first game in a Falcons uniform.
*Falcons kicker Jason Elam split the uprights on three field goals attempts in the first half. His last field goal of the first half was a 44-yard kick, which cut the Panthers lead to 14-9. Elam extended his current field goal streak to 24 consecutive kicks and his three successful kicks in the first half mark the 10th occasion that the veteran kicker has made three or more field goals in the first half of a game in his career.
*For the fourth consecutive game this season, the Falcons defense held their opponent to 16 rushing yards or less in the first quarter of play after the Panthers managed only 16 yards on six carries.

*Falcons defensive end John Abraham blocked his first career punt in the second quarter, which led to Elam’s second field goal of the day. The blocked punt was the first for Atlanta since the 2004 season finale when Demorrio Williams blocked Seattle’s first kick of the game at Qwest Field.

*Running back Jerious Norwood posted his second longest rush of the season with a 40-yard scamper in the second quarter. The rush was four yards shy of his season high (44), which he set against Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3. Norwood has now posted five rushes of 40 yards or more in this three-year career.

*Atlanta punter Michael Koenen booted his longest punt of the season with a 60-yard kick in the second quarter. The punt is the longest for Koenen since December 16 , 2007 when he nailed a 63-yard punt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

*Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran caught his first pass of the 2008 campaign on a five-yard reception in the second quarter. The catch was the first for Finneran since the 2005 season finale when he caught four passes for 45 yards against the Carolina Panthers.

*Wide receiver Roddy White led the Falcons in receiving with seven catches for 90 yards. He continues to remain on pace for a 1,000-yard season.

*In his fourth career start, rookie quarterback Matt Ryan completed passes to eight different receivers, a season-high for the Boston College graduate. Ryan finished the game having completed 21 of 41 passes for 158 yards and a 60.8 passer rating.

Week 5: at Green Bay Packers

Linescore Amfootball
"at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin"
* Game time: 1:00 PM EST
* Game weather: 60°F (Sunny)
* Game attendance: 70,610
* Referee: Carl Cheffers
* TV announcers (FOX): Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli, & Charissa Thompson

Hoping to rebound from their divisional road loss to the Panthers, to Falcons flew to Lambeau Field for a Week 5 duel with the Green Bay Packers. In the first quarter, Atlanta took flight as rookie QB Matt Ryan completed a 1-yard TD pass to TE Justin Peelle, along with kicker Jason Elam getting a 42-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Packers responded with QB Aaron Rodgers completing a 44-yard TD pass to WR Donald Driver. The Falcons closed out the half with Ryan completing a 22-yard TD pass to WR Roddy White.

In the third quarter, Green Bay answered with kicker Mason Crosby getting a 50-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Packers tied the game with Rodgers completing a 25-yard TD pass to WR Greg Jennings, yet Atlanta replied with Elam nailing a 41-yard field goal and RB Michael Turner getting a 2-yard TD run. Green Bay tried to rally as Rodgers completed a 4-yard TD pass to TE Donald Lee, yet the Falcons' defense stiffened for the win.

With the win, Atlanta improved to 3-2.

*An Atlanta 27-24 victory gave the Falcons their first win on the road this season and their first victory at Lambeau Field since 2002 NFC Wild Card playoff.
*On Atlanta’s first play of the game, Quarterback Matt Ryan completed a 37-yard pass to wide receiver Roddy White crossing into Packers territory. Ryan completed two more receptions to White on the drive for a total of 64 yards. The three completions led to an Atlanta touchdown, which marked the second occasion this season the Falcons scored on their first drive of the game Week 1 vs. Detroit Lions and the first time they scored on their first possession of the game on the road.

*The Falcons posted a touchdown on their first offensive possession of the game when Ryan led the team 81 yards on 10 plays and completed a one-yard touchdown strike to tight end Justin Peelle, his first as an Atlanta Falcon and the eighth of his career.

*Ryan started the game having completed six of six passes for 72 yards and one touchdown pass.
*Ryan compiled the best half of football in his rookie career thus far when he completed 13 of 18 passes for 154 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 135.0 passer rating. Ryan finished the game with a season-high 194 passing yards.
*On Atlanta first play at the start of the fourth quarter, Ryan rushed for his longest career gain with a 17-yard scamper on third down.

*Entering Week 5, the Falcons led the league in first quarter scoring with 38 points. Atlanta added to that total with 10 points on a touchdown and field goal. The Falcons have also outscored their opponents in the first quarter by a 48-14 margin.
*Following the first quarter of play the Falcons recorded eight first downs opposed to the Packers who finished the opening 15 minutes of play with zero. Atlanta also racked-up 147 net yards to Green Bay’s 10 in the quarter.

*White contributed with 67 first quarter receiving yards, falling three yards short of his career-high in the first 15 minutes of play 70, which he set on September 21, 2008 against Kansas City. White also finished the first half with 132 yards, which is the most in two quarters of play for the four-year veteran in his career and the second highest total since Terance Mathis posted 136 on November 19, 1995.

*At the 6:02 mark in the second quarter, Ryan tallied his second touchdown pass of the day when he found White in the end zone for a 22-yard strike to give the Falcons a 17-7 advantage. The catch was his sixth of the day giving White 115 yards in the first half at that point.
*White pieced together his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and the ninth of his career after catching eight passes for 132 yards and one touchdown.

*Running back Michael Turner posted his third 100-yard game of the season after finishing with 26 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown. Turner’s score came at the 3:35 mark in the fourth quarter to give Atlanta a two-possession lead (27-17) which sealed the victory.
*Fullback Ovie Mughelli carried the ball nine yards on his first rush of the season in the fourth quarter.

*Defensive tackle Grady Jackson logged his first sack of the season and the 34.5th of his career when he dropped Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Green Bay first offensive play of the game. The sack led to a Green Bay punt.
*Following the two-minute mark in the second quarter, defensive end John Abraham notched his seventh sack of the season, dropping Rodgers. The sack is the ninth in his last six games, the 17th in his last 20 contests and the 74.5th of his career. The sack forced a Packers field goal attempt and following an offensive holding call on a converted attempt, Green Bay missed a re-kick.
*Linebacker Michael Boley intercepted his first pass of the season and the fifth of his career when he stepped in from of an Aaron Rodgers pass late in the fourth quarter. The INT led to the game-sealing touchdown by Turner.
*Center Ben Wilkerson saw his first action of the season at the center position when he briefly replaced Todd McClure on Atlanta first offensive drive of the game. Wilkerson was at center when the Falcons scored their first touchdown in the first quarter.
*Kicker Jason Elam split the uprights on his first field goal attempt of the game from 42 yards and gave Atlanta a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Elam second kick of 41 yards at the 7:19 mark in the four quarter was also good, giving the Falcons a 20-17 lead. The second field goal marked his 26th consecutive kick.

*Following a Packers touchdown to tie the game at 17, running back/kick returner Jerious Norwood returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards into Green Bay territory, marking the second-longest kickoff return of his career. Norwood’s return set up a Falcons game-sealing touchdown.

Week 6: vs. Chicago Bears

Linescore Amfootball
"at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia"
* Game time: 1:00 PM EDT
* Game weather: None (Domed Stadium)
* TV announcers (FOX): Thom Brennaman & Brian Billick
* Game attendance:
* Referee:

Division standings

2008 NFL Draft Results

*1st round(3)-Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Boston College
*1st round(21)-Sam Baker, offensive tackle, University of Southern California
*2nd round(37)-Curtis Lofton, linebacker, University of Oklahoma
*3rd round(68)-Chevis Jackson, cornerback, Louisiana State University
*3rd round(84)-Harry Douglas, wide receiver, University of Louisville
*3rd round(98)-Thomas DeCoud, safety, University of California
*5th round(138)-Robert James, linebacker, Arizona State University (IR)
*5th round(154)-Kroy Biermann, linebacker, University of Montana
*6th round(172)-Thomas Brown, running back, University of Georgia (IR)
*7th round(212)-Wilrey Fontenot, cornerback, University of Arizona(no longer with the team)
*7th round(232)-Keith Zinger, tight end, Louisiana State University (practice squad)

* [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Draft_Central/Draft_2008.aspx Falcons draft central]

* [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/04/NFL_Draft/Falcons_select_quarterback_Matt_Ryan.aspx Falcons select Matt Ryan]

* [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/04/NFL_Draft/Falcons_trade_up_select_Baker.aspx Falcons pick USC Tackle Baker]

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_x4WvWEJO4 Lofton highligts]

* [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/04/NFL_Draft/Sunday_Press_Conference_042708.aspx First round picks introductions]

* [http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=Igq8fLhwI9s Chevis Jackson highlights]


* [http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/stats/ATL Falcons Player stats]

Notes and references

2. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/08/Preseason_Week_1/Falcons_Jaguars_Game_Story.aspx Birds fall but Ryan solid in preseason debut]

3. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/08/Preseason_Week_2/Falcons_Colts_Game_Story.aspx Turner's runs christen new-look Georgia Dome]

4. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/08/Preseason_Week_3/Falcons_Titans_Game_Story.aspx Falcons get victory in Ryan's first start]

5. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/08/Preseason_Week_4/Falcons_Ravens_Game_Story.aspx Reserves lead Falcons to victory in Baltimore]

6. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/09/Week_1/Falcons_Lions_Game_Story.aspx Turner leads Falcons to the victory against Detroit]

7. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/09/Week_2/Falcons_Bucs_Game_Story.aspx Birds stumble against NFC South rival]

8. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/09/1120/Young_teams_to_square_off_Sunday_at_Georgia_Dome.aspx ATL-KC Preview]

9. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/09/11-20/Smith_on_Lawyer_Milloy_091508.aspx Smith discusses about Milloy situation]

10. [http://life.atlantafalcons.com/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=4&showentry=272 Smith Addresses Milloy Arrest]

11. [http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/gamecenter/preview/NFL_20080928_ATL@CAR ATL-CAR Preview]

12. [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Articles/2008/09/Week_3/Falcons_Chiefs_Game_Story.aspx Falcons-Chiefs Game recap]

Eternal Links

* [http://www.atlantafalcons.com/?homepage=true atlantafalcons.com]
* [http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/page/ATL Falcons at CBS Sportsline]

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