2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons lose to Cardinals 27-13

By JOHN MARSHALL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-27 20:39

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons overcame Matt Ryan's miserable day to beat the Arizona Cardinals last season.

More mistakes by Ryan and an awful day on defense were too much to overcome the second time around.

Ryan threw four interceptions and rookie Andre Ellington ran for 154 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta in his first NFL start, sending the Falcons to a disheartening 27-13 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.

''We didn't play well,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. ''We have to get it fixed.''

There's plenty to work on.

Coming off a solid home win over Tampa Bay, the Falcons (2-5) struggled on both sides of the ball against a team that had lost its previous two games.

Atlanta had to settle for field goals when it moved the ball in the first half and made numerous mistakes while trying to catch up in the second. The Falcons had trouble protecting Ryan and had virtually no run game to take the pressure off.

Stephen Jackson, who missed four games with a hamstring injury, was supposed to give the run game a lift, but was a non-factor, rushing for 6 yards on 11 carries. The Falcons had 27 yards rushing on 14 carries total.

Ryan was the NFC's offensive player of the week after career-best 148.4 QB rating against the Buccaneers, but struggled against Arizona's constant pressure without starting left tackle Sam Baker due to a knee injury.

Ryan had three interceptions in Atlanta's first six games, but tossed four in the second half against the Cardinals (4-4). Atlanta also gave up four sacks after allowing nine its first six games.

Atlanta's defense allowed Arizona, one of the NFL's worst rushing teams, to gain 201 yards on the ground. Carson Palmer also had an efficient game, overcoming an early interception to throw for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13-of-18 passing.

''I think everybody across the board - offense, defense and special teams - we all could have done something better to win this football game,'' said Falcons receiver Harry Douglas, who had 12 catches for 121 yards.

Atlanta's problems started with the defense in the first half.

The Falcons had trouble containing Ellington, who started because of Rashard Mendenhall's lingering toe injury, and weren't much better against the pass in the first half.

Larry Fitzgerald, who became the youngest player in NFL history to reach 800 receptions, adjusted to a ball thrown behind him for a 10-yard touchdown.

Ellington followed with an 80-yard touchdown run that he started inside and bounced out after the right side of Atlanta's defense got sealed off and couldn't catch up to him.

The Cardinals ended the half with a 78-yard scoring drive in six plays, capped by Michael Floyd's 15-yard touchdown catch that put them up 21-6.

''Anytime you give up an explosive play on a drive, it's going to lead to points,'' Smith said. ''Today, they led to touchdowns.''

A year ago, Ryan threw a career-high five interceptions against the Cardinals in Atlanta, but the Falcons overcame the mistakes and won 23-19.

Not this time.

Atlanta had to settle for a pair of field goals by Matt Bryant after getting the ball deep in Arizona's end in the first half.

Once the Falcons fell behind, they didn't give themselves much of a chance to come back.

Ryan threw an interception on Atlanta's opening drive of the third quarter when he didn't see linebacker Daryl Washington on a pass intended for Chase Coffman.

The Falcons got a little offensive momentum going later in the quarter, only to have it end when Ryan was sacked and lofted a ball that Rashad Johnson was able to camp under for an interception at Arizona's 23-yard line.

The Falcons' next drive ended with a third straight interception, this one by Tyrann Mathieu on an underthrow to Drew Davis. That set up Jay Feely's second field goal, a 38-yarder that made it 27-6.

Ryan finally got the Falcons into the end zone with a 4-yard touchdown pass and Atlanta recovered an onside kick, giving a brief glimpse of hope. That ended quickly when Ryan tried to heave it downfield under pressure on a fourth-and-20 that Johnson waited under for his second interception.

Ryan finished 34 for 61 for 301 yards and has nine interceptions with one touchdown pass his past two games against Arizona.

''I can't do it,'' Ryan said. ''You can't make those plays and expect your team to win. I have to clean those up. I've got to find a way to make sure those don't happen again.''

NOTES: Ex-Falcon John Abraham, who had a sack, left the game in the second half after a blow to the head but said he should be OK. ... Fitzgerald reached 800 catches in 30 years, 57 days, beating Jason Witten's mark by 181 days.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

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Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

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Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

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Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

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Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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