Falcons outlast Raiders in wild one in Atlanta

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

This game was expected to be a blowout. The Falcons were highly favored. The last time the Raiders were this much of an underdog was against the Steelers in week three. And they won that game. So of course they would come into this game and make it competitive.

Both teams set out to attack the other team's weakness. The Falcons with their high-powered offense against the Raiders weak pass defense. And the Raiders looked to get their run offense going against the one weak area they knew of with these Falcons-their run defense.

Early on, neither of those plans worked out too well. Matt Ryan threw an interception and the Raiders gave it back when Darren McFadden fumbled the ball. It was the Raiders first interception of the season.

Things would remain scoreless until the end of the first quarter after the Raiders would get yet another interception. They started the drive at their own two yard line and drove into field goal range for Sebastian Janikowski to put them on the board with a 52-yard field goal.

After that, the Falcons would get things going when they had a long drive to score a touchdown and take the lead.

The Raiders answered with a drive of their own but couldn't capitalize though they were set up in second and goal at the one yard line. They would settle for another field goal to pull with one at 6-7.

Then, amazingly enough, the Raiders would get yet another interception. This time, they were able to take the short field and score on a 25-yard catch and run by Denarius Moore to take the lead back at 13-7.

The amazing thing for the Raiders in the first half was going from zero interception on the season to getting three in just one half of football. Only one of those interceptions can truly be called a mistake by Matt Ryan. The others were just good plays by the Raiders. One was Joselio Hanson reading a crossing route perfectly and the other was Philip Wheeler hitting Ryan as he threw to allow Tyvon Branch to pull it down.

The Raiders led in many key statistics at halftime. Among them were rushing yards 55-22, total yards 213-165, turnovers 1-3, and time of possession 17:30-12:30.

After halftime, it was the same old story for the Raiders. As the Raiders have done all year, they had a close score or the lead at halftime only too squander it in the third quarter. The Falcons came out in the second half down 13-7 and were able to put two field goals on the board to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.

The score could have been worse, however. Carson Palmer was sacked from behind by John Abraham on the Raiders third possession and the ball was returned to the Raiders' two yard line. It was only a strong defensive effort at the goal line that held them out of the end zone and forced a field goal.

Palmer and the Raiders weren't so lucky later on. After Palmer had driven the Raiders downfield to get them into scoring position, he threw an interception to Asante Samuel which was returned for a touchdown.

The Raiders didn't throw in the towel and they mounted a quick scoring drive highlighted by a 38-yard pass from Palmer to Derek Hagan and capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by McFadden to tie the game up once again.

That scoring drive turned out to have been a bit too quick and the forty second left on the clock was enough for the Falcons to drive into field goal range. The prevent defense was the culprit once again as the Falcons easily marched into Raider territory and set their kicker Matt Bryant up for a 55-yard field goal. Bryant made the field goal to give the Falcons the 23-20 victory.

In the end, Palmer's 353 yards passing were spoiled by his one big mistake on the interception returned for a touchdown. And yet again Darren McFadden averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.

Box Score

Oakland Raiders (1-3-0) Atlanta Falcons (5-0-0)

Raiders

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT

C. Palmer 23/33 353 1 1

Rushing ATT YDS TD LG

D. McFadden 27 70 1 14

M. Goodson 4 59 0 43

D. Heyward-Bey 1 20 0 20

Receiving REC YDS TD LG

D. Moore 5 104 1 49

D. Hagan 4 85 0 38

B. Myers 5 62 0 18

M. Goodson 1 37 0 37

D. McFadden 3 28 0 20

R. Streater 3 24 0 14

D. Ausberry 1 12 0 12

M. Reece 1 1 0 1

Fumbles FUM LOST REC YDS

D. McFadden 1 1 0 0

C. Palmer 1 1 0 0

Kicking FG LG XP PTS

S. Janikowski 2/2 52 2/2 8

Punting NO AVG I20 LG

S. Lechler 5 36.2 1 57

Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG

D. Ausberry 1 -12 0 -12

M. Goodson 1 17 0 25

M. Reece 0 0 0 -14

D. Tollefson 0 0 0 -7

Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG

P. Adams 1 0 0 0

D. Moore 1 0 0 0

Defense T-A SCK INT FF

P. Wheeler 8-2 0.0 0 0

T. Branch 4-0 0.0 1 0

M. Shaughnessy 4-1 1.0 0 0

M. Giordano 3-0 0.0 0 0

M. Burris 2-2 0.0 0 0

J. Hanson 2-1 0.0 1 0

M. Huff 2-1 0.0 1 0

P. Lee 2-0 0.0 0 0

R. McClain 2-1 0.0 0 0

L. Houston 1-0 0.0 0 0

R. Seymour 1-0 0.0 0 0

P. Adams 0-1 0.0 0 0

A. Carter 0-1 0.0 0 0

Falcons

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT

M. Ryan 24/37 249 1 3

Rushing ATT YDS TD LG

M. Turner 11 33 0 9

M. Ryan 1 15 0 15

J. Snelling 1 -1 0 -1

Jz. Rodgers 2 -2 0 0

Receiving REC YDS TD LG

R. White 6 72 1 26

J. Jones 4 63 0 25

T. Gonzalez 4 42 0 13

H. Douglas 5 37 0 20

Jz. Rodgers 3 21 0 9

L. Polite 1 8 0 8

M. Turner 1 6 0 6

Fumbles FUM LOST REC YDS

J. Abraham 0 0 0 0

J. Babineaux 0 0 0 0

R. Edwards 0 0 1 26

R. McClain 0 0 1 13

Kicking FG LG XP PTS

M. Bryant 3/4 55 2/2 11

Punting NO AVG I20 LG

M. Bosher 4 52.8 2 57

Kickoff Returns NO AVG TD LG

Jz. Rodgers 1 29 0 29

Punt Returns NO AVG TD LG

D. Franks 0 0 0 0

Defense T-A SCK INT FF

D. Robinson 8-1 0.0 0 0

S. Weatherspoon 7-2 0.0 0 0

A. Dent 6-2 0.0 0 0

J. Abraham 5-0 3.0 0 1

J. Babineaux 5-0 0.0 0 1

T. DeCoud 5-0 0.0 0 0

W. Moore 5-1 0.0 0 0

A. Samuel 4-0 0.0 1 0

K. Biermann 2-1 0.0 0 0

R. Edwards 1-1 0.0 0 0

P. Jerry 1-1 0.0 0 0

R. McClain 1-1 0.0 0 0

M. Peterson 1-0 0.0 0 0

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