Texans
Falcons
16 - 26 Final
  for this game

Harrington, Jenkins spoil Schaub's return to Atlanta

Sep 30, 2007 - 10:20 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Joey Harrington and Michael Jenkins ruined Matt Schaub's return to Atlanta.

Harrington tossed two touchdown passes and Jenkins found the end zone twice to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Schaub served as the backup quarterback for the past four seasons in Atlanta (1-3) before he was traded to Houston in the offseason for draft picks. But the move backfired for the Falcons when starting quarterback Michael Vick ran into legal trouble and was suspended indefinitely by the league after he pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges.

Atlanta turned to backup quarterback Joey Harrington, who the club signed as Vick's backup in the offseason. The 28-year old had been dreadful coming into this one, completing 66-of-96 passes for 760 yards and two touchdowns in three games.

Meanwhile, Schaub had been brilliant, connecting on 63-of-83 passes for 688 yards and four touchdowns for the Texans (2-2).

But it was Harrington, who was the hero in this one.

Harrington completed 23-of-29 passes for 223 yards and two TDs, leading the Falcons (1-3) to their first win of the season.

"It's a positive step," Harrington said. "Being 1-3 is not where we want to be, but we made a positive step to where we want to be."

"We have been fighting through adversity all year long and the team has always played hard, practiced hard and prepared hard," said Falcons coach Bobby Petrino, who recorded his first NFL coaching victory. "I like the way we played."

After Schaub found Andre Davis for a 35-yard touchdown pass at 5:27 of the first quarter to give the Texans a 7-3 lead, Harrington and the Falcons responded.

Harrington engineered a seven play, 68 yard drive, connecting with Jenkins for a 5-yard TD pass with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter.

"Mike (Jenkins) is developing a feel in the middle of the field," Harrington said. "He made a great move on the safety, got in the middle and made a great catch in the middle of the end zone."

Warrick Dunn kept alive the drive by gaining two yards on a crucial 3rd-and-1 situation before Harrington found Roddy White for a 34-yard completion to take the ball to the Houston 23.

Atlanta found the end zone again thanks to a costly Texans fumble.

Linebacker Stephen Nichols recovered Vonta Leach's fumble at the Houston 34 before Schaub once again found Jenkins for a 7-yard TD pass at 8:22 of the second to give Atlanta a 17-7 edge.

It was the first multi-touchdown game for the 25-year old Jenkins, who caught six passes for 64 yards.

"We kind of got into a rhythm in the first half," Jenkins said. "I caught a couple of passes and caught a couple of touchdowns. Hopefully, we'll continue to do that."

Linebacker Marcus Boley, who forced the fumble leading to the Jenkins TD, finished the game with a team-high nine tackles knew that he needed to come big to help stop the Falcons' slide.

"It was one of those games where I seemed to be at the right place at the right time," Boley said. "I've never been 0-3 before and it wasn't a good feeling."

"I felt like we was running around and making plays everywhere," Petrino said. "He is having a really good year for us and he was really glued into what they were trying to do."

Atlanta took a 20-10 advantage into the half after the two clubs traded field goals before intermission.

Houston and Atlanta traded field goals in the third quarter before the Falcons defense stymied the Texans' offense in the red zone.

Schaub found Davis for a 45-yard pass to the Atlanta 20 and drove the team to the Atlanta 1. But a pressured Schaub threw an incomplete pass on third down setting up a Kris Brown field goal to cut the advantage to 23-16 with 14:52 remaining.

"We've got to (continue) making big stops," Falcons defensive end John Abraham said. "We have to keep on going on."

But Morten Andersen answered with a 46-yard field goal to pad the advantage to 26-16.

It appeared as if the Texans the advantage to six when Schaub scampered 13 yards into the end zone with just over two minutes remaining. But the Falcons challenged the call and, upon review, the officials placed the ball at the Atlanta 1.

The Atlanta defense once again came up big, backing up Houston to the Atlanta 7 on Schaub's fumble before Kris Brown missed a 25-yard field goal with 2:07 remaining in the contest.

"I thought I was in," Schaub said of the called-back touchdown. "But looking at the replay, I guess I was just a little short. ... But when you can't convert third down with less than two yards, it's definitely frustrating."

Schaub finished 28-of-40 for 317 yards and one touchdown.

"Our quarterback is playing extremely well," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "He can not turn the ball over. We have to protect the ball in the pocket, but he is playing well. Our effort is not a problem at all, but we are not playing very clean and when you don't play clean, you can expect to get beat."

Andersen had four field goals for the Falcons, who defeated the Texans for the first time in franchise history.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 7 3 3 3 16
    ATLANTA 10 10 3 3 26 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, MORTEN ANDERSEN 28 YD, 6:46. Drive:
    7 plays, 42 yards in 3:01. Key
    plays: Harrington 29-yard pass to
    Jenkins on 3rd-and-3 to Houston 16.
    ATLANTA 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE DAVIS 35 YD PASS

    Sep 30 4:05 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    MORTEN ANDERSEN 46 YD
    HOUSTON 16
    ATLANTA 26 8:16 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 3:35 PM


  • NFL
    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 19 YD
    HOUSTON 16
    ATLANTA 23 14:52 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 7 3 3 13
    ATLANTA 10 10 3 23 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, MORTEN ANDERSEN 28 YD, 6:46. Drive:
    7 plays, 42 yards in 3:01. Key
    plays: Harrington 29-yard pass to
    Jenkins on 3rd-and-3 to Houston 16.
    ATLANTA 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE DAVIS 35 Y

    Sep 30 3:15 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    MORTEN ANDERSEN 36 YD
    HOUSTON 13
    ATLANTA 23 4:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 3:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 37 YD
    HOUSTON 13
    ATLANTA 20 10:13 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 2:48 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 7 3 10
    ATLANTA 10 10 20 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, MORTEN ANDERSEN 28 YD, 6:46. Drive:
    7 plays, 42 yards in 3:01. Key
    plays: Harrington 29-yard pass to
    Jenkins on 3rd-and-3 to Houston 16.
    ATLANTA 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE DAVIS 35 YD PA

    Sep 30 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 42 YD
    HOUSTON 10
    ATLANTA 20 0:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 2:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    MORTEN ANDERSEN 22 YD
    HOUSTON 7
    ATLANTA 20 1:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 2:18 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    MICHAEL JENKINS 7 YD PASS FROM JOEY HARRINGTON
    (MORTEN ANDERSEN KICK)
    HOUSTON 7
    ATLANTA 17 8:22 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 1:59 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    HOUSTON 7 7
    ATLANTA 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, MORTEN ANDERSEN 28 YD, 6:46. Drive:
    7 plays, 42 yards in 3:01. Key
    plays: Harrington 29-yard pass to
    Jenkins on 3rd-and-3 to Houston 16.
    ATLANTA 3-0
    HST - TD, ANDRE DAVIS 35 Y

    Sep 30 1:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    MICHAEL JENKINS 5 YD PASS FROM JOEY HARRINGTON
    (MORTEN ANDERSEN KICK)
    HOUSTON 7
    ATLANTA 10 1:13 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 1:37 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    ANDRE DAVIS 35 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    HOUSTON 7
    ATLANTA 3 5:34 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 1:26 PM


  • NFL
    HOUSTON 0
    ATLANTA 3 8:09 LEFT, 1ST QTR
    HST BALL ON HST 26 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Texans vs. FalconsSep 30 1:19 PM
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