Falcons
Chargers
22 - 16 Final
  for this game

Ryan throws two TDs as Falcons down Chargers

Dec 1, 2008 - 1:44 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Rookie Matt Ryan tossed a pair of touchdowns and Michael Turner punished his former team as the Atlanta Falcons posted a 22-16 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

The victory kept Atlanta (8-4) within one game of NFC South division leaders Tampa Bay (9-3) and Carolina (9-3), which both won Sunday.

"That was a big win for our team today," Ryan said. "We're certainly in a good position and we've got an opportunity (for the postseason), so we're excited about that."

Ryan's first touchdown pass - an 18-yard strike to tight end Justin Peele - gave the Falcons a 13-7 advantage that they would not relinquish, despite a late comeback attempt by the Chargers (4-8).

San Diego converted Turner's fumble into a 28-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding to pull within 22-16 with 5:15 remaining.

The Chargers stopped the ensuing Atlanta drive to gain possession again with 2:46 to play, but fell short on the comeback and punted the ball away with 1:58 left and never got the ball back.

"In this league, you've got to win games like this, when things don't always go your way and you didn't pay your best," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "To have all those turnovers and be minus-four in the turnover ratio on the road, and continue to play hard for 60 minutes and hang in there. I felt like our intensity was outstanding."

Turner collected 120 yards on 31 attempts, crossing the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season and burning the team that allowed him to sign with Atlanta as a free agent in the offseason.

"It felt great coming back here to Qualcomm (Stadium) again and seeing all of the old fans," Turner said. "Coming into the stadium, and with all of the memories I have here, I'm just glad we came out with the win also."

Ryan went 17-for-23 for 207 yards as the impressive rookie continues for the third overall draft pick last April.

Ryan's counterpart, Philip Rivers, completed 17-of-30 attempts for 149 yards. Malcolm Floyd caught five passes for 59 yards to lead the Chargers.

"We never got going very good," Rivers said. "We didn't get in a rhythm and that kind of makes it tough. We've (used the no-huddle offense) sporadically this year, and you've got to get first downs when you do it. It's hard to get in the no-huddle flow when you're not going very good."

Former league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 24 yards on 14 carries and also caught five balls for 42 more yards.

"We got our (rear ends) kicked, that's plain and simple," Tomlinson said. "We got dominated today. Whenever you get out-physicaled, that's hard to swallow."

Despite the loss, Tomlinson reached a pair of milestones. His 3-yard score in the first quarter was the 136th of his career, tying Marshall Faulk for fifth on the all-time list.

Tomlinson also hauled in his 500th career catch, becoming the fifth player in NFL history to have 500 receptions and 10,000 rushing yards.

"I've got to give credit to (Atlanta)," Tomlinson said. "Today, for whatever reason, we couldn't move the ball, couldn't get first downs, couldn't run the ball or throw it. That defense played pretty good over there."

Roddy White paced Atlanta with six catches for 112 yards and crossed the 1,000-yard plateau for the second time in his career.

Combined with a win on Sunday by Denver (7-5), San Diego faces a three-game deficit in the AFC West division, a daunting challenge to salvage a season it entered with Super Bowl aspirations.

"It's obviously very disappointing," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. "Our guys are a high-character football team, and they're going to compete and do everything they can throughout the rest of the season."






  • 70
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Falcons 22, Chargers 16  FinalNov 30 11:37 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 6 9 0 7 22
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 6 3 16 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 35 YD, 9:04. Drive: 10
    plays, 49 yards in 4:38. Key plays:
    Falcons take over on downs at
    Atlanta 34; Ryan 19-yard pass to
    White to San Diego 43; Ryan 9-yard
    pass to Whit

    Nov 30 7:07 PM
  • 65
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Falcons 22, Chargers 16  4th - 1:53Nov 30 7:06 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 26 roots (Close Finish)

    Falcons 22, Chargers 16  4th - 2:46Nov 30 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 28 YD
    ATLANTA 22
    SAN DIEGO 16 5:15 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons 22, Chargers 16  4th - 5:15Nov 30 6:51 PM
  • 34
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    RUWTbot Added 29 roots (Close Finish)

    Falcons 22, Chargers 16  4th - 5:15Nov 30 6:51 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    HARRY DOUGLAS 5 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    ATLANTA 22
    SAN DIEGO 13 14:56 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Falcons 22, Chargers 13  4th - 14:56Nov 30 6:22 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 6 9 0 15
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 6 13 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 35 YD, 9:04. Drive: 10
    plays, 49 yards in 4:38. Key plays:
    Falcons take over on downs at
    Atlanta 34; Ryan 19-yard pass to
    White to San Diego 43; Ryan 9-yard
    pass

    Nov 30 6:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    ERIC WEDDLE 86 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    ATLANTA 15
    SAN DIEGO 13 12:08 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Falcons 15, Chargers 13  3rd - 12:08Nov 30 5:53 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 6 9 15
    SAN DIEGO 7 0 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: ATL - FG, JASON ELAM 35 YD, 9:04. Drive: 10
    plays, 49 yards in 4:38. Key plays:
    Falcons take over on downs at
    Atlanta 34; Ryan 19-yard pass to
    White to San Diego 43; Ryan 9-yard
    pass to W

    Nov 30 5:29 PM


  • NFL
    SAFETY ATL
    PENALTY ON PHILIP RIVERS IN END ZONE
    ATLANTA 15
    SAN DIEGO 7 7:55 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons 15, Chargers 7  2nd - 7:55Nov 30 5:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD ATL
    JUSTIN PEELLE 18 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN
    (JASON ELAM KICK)
    ATLANTA 13
    SAN DIEGO 7 9:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Falcons 13, Chargers 7  2nd - 9:24Nov 30 5:05 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 40 YD
    ATLANTA 6
    SAN DIEGO 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons 6, Chargers 7  End of 1stNov 30 4:44 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 3 YD RUN
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    ATLANTA 3
    SAN DIEGO 7 1:41 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons 3, Chargers 7  1st - 1:41Nov 30 4:36 PM


  • NFL
    FG ATL
    JASON ELAM 35 YD
    ATLANTA 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 5:56 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Falcons 3, Chargers 0  1st - 5:56Nov 30 4:24 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Falcons vs. ChargersNov 30 5:58 AM