Chargers
Falcons
24 - 27 Final
  for this game

Chargers starters roll in 27-24 loss to Falcons

Aug 30, 2009 - 4:12 AM By CHARLES ODUM AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA(AP) -- Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers' first-team offense got the fast start they wanted even with LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates watching from the sideline.

Rivers led touchdown drives in two of his three possessions in his first game since signing a contract extension, before the Atlanta Falcons' backups rallied to beat the Chargers 27-24 in an exhibition game Saturday night.

The Chargers jumped to a 21-10 lead.

"We made an effort to get off to a fast start," Rivers said. "It was the best we've had in the preseason."

Rivers completed 10 of 15 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. He signed a six-year, $93 million extension Monday.

The Chargers frustrated the Falcons' defense with big third-down plays. They converted 7 of 8 third downs in the first half and 11 of 16 in the game.

"That was pretty amazing," Chargers coach Norv Turner said.

Turner said his starters did a good job beating blitzes by Atlanta's defense.

"I think it was most important for us to get off to a fast start," Turner said. "I think we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish as a coaching staff."

Falcons coach Mike Smith was frustrated the Chargers were making big plays even without Tomlinson and Gates.

"On third down, it was not a good defense," Smith said. "It's definitely something we have to work on and we will work on."

Darren Sproles, who started at running back for Tomlinson, scored on a 10-yard run to cap San Diego's opening drive. Rivers added a 48-yard screen pass for a touchdown to Michael Bennett.

Tomlinson and Gates participated in pregame warmups before the team announced they would not play.

Gates' status for the game had been uncertain. He missed three practices during the week with what he said was general soreness.

Tomlinson had 12 carries for 28 yards in the Chargers' first two preseason games. A Chargers spokesman said Tomlinson has no reported injury.

Smith kept quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner and most other offensive starters in the game for the first possession of the third quarter.

Ryan was 14 for 20 for 140 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brian Finneran in the first quarter.

"I think we did a pretty good job in the first half," Ryan said. "We have to get better and keep getting better."

On a fourth down, backup Chris Redman completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eric Weems with 9 seconds remaining to give the Falcons the win.

Redman, who took over for Ryan in the third quarter, completed 15 of 19 passes for 134 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Redman also had a 10-yard scoring run.

Redman's pass to Weems capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive. Redman is competing with D.J. Shockley and rookie John Parker Wilson to win the job as Ryan's top backup.

"Chris is the most experienced quarterback behind Ryan," Smith said. "He did a very good job of moving the offense. With the blitz right in his face, he got the ball out."

Rivers completed third-down passes for 18, 32, 18 and 48 yards on the Chargers' second touchdown drive, including the touchdown pass to Bennett on third-and-24.

"That's the type of guys we have," Rivers said of his receivers. "Just give them a chance, and they will come down with the ball. They were outstanding tonight."

The big third-down plays enabled San Diego to overcome 35 yards in penalties and a 10-yard sack by Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes on the drive.

The Chargers' third-down magic continued with Billy Volek at quarterback late in the first half. Volek's 22-yard pass to Buster Davis on third-and-22 helped set up his 10-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd for a 21-10 lead.

Volek completed 7 of 9 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Floyd had four catches for 56 yards.

Gartrell Johnson broke free on a 42-yard run late in the fourth quarter on yet another big third-down play for the Chargers.

Turner led Atlanta with 12 carries for 47 yards. Marty Booker had six catches for 62 yards.

NOTES: Brandon Manumaleuna started for Gates at tight end and had one catch for 9 yards. ... Falcons RB Jerious Norwood hurt his left knee in the first half and did not return. ... Rookie CB Chris Owens left with a knee injury late in the first half. ... Another Atlanta rookie, S William Moore, hurt his hamstring after missing the first two preseason games with a knee injury.






  • 118
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Chargers 24, Falcons 27  FinalAug 31 4:17 AM
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Chargers 24, Falcons 27  FinalAug 30 3:30 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 14 0 3 24
    ATLANTA 7 6 0 14 27 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, DARREN SPROLES 10 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING
    KICK), 5:23. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 3:11.
    SAN DIEGO 7-0
    ATL - TD, BRIAN FINNERAN 12 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 10:28. Drive

    Aug 29 11:10 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    ERIC WEEMS 5 YD PASS FROM CHRIS REDMAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 24
    ATLANTA 27 0:09 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 24, Falcons 27  4th - 0:09Aug 29 11:06 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 37 YD
    SAN DIEGO 24
    ATLANTA 20 2:07 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 24, Falcons 20  4th - 2:07Aug 29 10:49 PM
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    Chargers 21, Falcons 20  4th - 6:40Aug 29 10:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    CHRIS REDMAN 10 YD RUN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 21
    ATLANTA 20 10:21 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 21, Falcons 20  4th - 10:21Aug 29 10:27 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 14 0 21
    ATLANTA 7 6 0 13 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, DARREN SPROLES 10 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING
    KICK), 5:23. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 3:11.
    SAN DIEGO 7-0
    ATL - TD, BRIAN FINNERAN 12 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 10:28

    Aug 29 10:21 PM


  • NFL
    SAN DIEGO 21
    ATLANTA 13 14:49 LEFT, 3RD QTR
    SDG BALL ON SDG 20 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Chargers 21, Falcons 13  3rd - 14:49Aug 29 9:51 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 14 21
    ATLANTA 7 6 13 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, DARREN SPROLES 10 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING
    KICK), 5:23. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 3:11.
    SAN DIEGO 7-0
    ATL - TD, BRIAN FINNERAN 12 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 10:28. Dr

    Chargers 7, Falcons 7  HalfAug 29 9:51 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 39 YD
    SAN DIEGO 21
    ATLANTA 13 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 21, Falcons 13  HalfAug 29 9:37 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 32 roots

    Chargers 21, Falcons 13  HalfAug 29 9:37 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    MALCOM FLOYD 10 YD PASS FROM BILLY VOLEK
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 21
    ATLANTA 10 1:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 21, Falcons 10  2nd - 1:11Aug 29 9:29 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 40 YD
    SAN DIEGO 14
    ATLANTA 10 3:19 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 14, Falcons 10  2nd - 3:19Aug 29 9:13 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    MICHAEL BENNETT 48 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 14
    ATLANTA 7 8:32 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 14, Falcons 7  2nd - 8:32Aug 29 8:57 PM


  • NFL
    SAN DIEGO 7
    ATLANTA 7 14:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR
    ATL BALL ON ATL 16 YD LINE
    4TH AND 3

    Chargers 7, Falcons 7  2nd - 14:59Aug 29 8:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7
    ATLANTA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, DARREN SPROLES 10 YD RUN (NATE KAEDING
    KICK), 5:23. Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 3:11.
    SAN DIEGO 7-0
    ATL - TD, BRIAN FINNERAN 12 YD PASS FROM MATT
    RYAN (JASON ELAM KICK), 10:28

    Chargers 0, Falcons 0  End of 1stAug 29 8:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    BRIAN FINNERAN 12 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    ATLANTA 7 4:32 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers 7, Falcons 7  1st - 4:32Aug 29 8:29 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    DARREN SPROLES 10 YD RUN
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    ATLANTA 0 9:37 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers 7, Falcons 0  1st - 9:37Aug 29 8:17 PM