Painter's 3 TDs lead Ravens past Falcons, 31-17
- Tyrod Taylor of the Ravens scrambles against the Falcons. AP Photo.
ATLANTA (AP) - Baltimore backup Curtis Painter threw three second-half touchdown passes to lead the Ravens to a 31-17 preseason win over the Falcons on Thursday night.
Atlanta's Matt Ryan led two touchdown drives, including a scoring pass to Julio Jones, before Painter took over.
Ryan completed 9 of 13 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was 5 for 5 for 71 yards, including the 7-yard touchdown pass to Jones, on the opening drive for Atlanta (No. 13 in the AP Pro32).
Joe Flacco completed 9 of 12 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore (No. 5). The Falcons led 14-0 before Flacco threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ed Dickson midway through the second quarter.
Each starting quarterback left the game in the second quarter.
Ravens safety Omar Brown, an undrafted rookie from Marshall, had two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Atlanta starting linebacker Akeem Dent (knee) and rookie backup fullback Bradie Ewing (head) left the game with injuries.
Ewing hurt his right knee when blocking on Dominique Franks' 45-yard punt return midway through the first quarter. Ewing, a fifth-round pick from Wisconsin, was helped off the field before being placed on a cart and driven to the locker room.
Dent walked off the field with the head injury he suffered when blocking on a Falcons punt. He is expected to take over at middle linebacker after Curtis Lofton signed with the Saints and Lofa Tatupu suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in training camp.
Baltimore backup defensive tackle Ryan McBean was carted off the field late in the first half with a left leg injury.
Painter, who played behind Flacco and Tyrod Taylor, completed 7 of 14 passes for 76 yards and the three touchdowns. Taylor completed 8 of 17 passes for 64 yards and had five carries for 51 yards.
The game matched two franchise quarterbacks from the 2008 NFL draft.
Flacco's 44 wins are the most by an NFL quarterback in his first four seasons. Ryan is second with 43 wins. Flacco has won at least one playoff game in each of his four seasons. Ryan has posted four straight winning seasons - a first for the Falcons - but has yet to win in the playoffs.
Ryan, operating in first-year offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter's attack, had completions of 13 yards to Roddy White, 26 yards to Jones, 19 yards to Jones and 6 yards to Jones on consecutive plays on Atlanta's opening drive.
After Michael Turner ran for 3 yards to the Ravens 7, Ryan went back to Jones for the touchdown pass.
The Falcons had a first down at Baltimore's 15 later in the first quarter when Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo intercepted a pass from Ryan.
Matt Bryant's 31-yard field goal gave Atlanta a 17-7 halftime lead. Justin Tucker kicked a 36-yard field goal for Baltimore in the third quarter.
A fumbled handoff by Atlanta third-string quarterback John Parker Wilson at the Falcons 10 was recovered by Baltimore's Brown midway in the third period. Three plays later, Painter threw a 4-yard pass to Billy Bajema for a 17-17 tie.
Painter's 22-yard pass to Deonte Thompson late in the third quarter gave Baltimore the lead.
Brown intercepted the first pass thrown by Atlanta fourth-stringer Davis to set up Painter's 18-yard TD pass to Bobby Rainey in the fourth quarter. Brown recovered a fumble by Aron White following a catch later in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta backup Chris Redman couldn't move the offense as he completed only 1 of 6 passes for 8 yards. Wilson was 8 of 13 passing for 69 yards.
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