Falcons fall in exhibition finale to Jaguars, 24-14

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Dominique Davis (14) scrambles as Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith (95) moves in for a tackle during the first half of an NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Dominique Davis (14) scrambles as Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith (95) moves in for a tackle during the first half of an NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE — Falcons coach Mike Smith’s primary goal of the exhibition season is to open the regular season as healthy as possible.

So, for the third consecutive exhibition-season finale in Smith’s five-year tenure, he rested several starters, including quarterback Matt Ryan.

With backup quarterback Dominique Davis getting his first NFL start, the reserves were defeated by the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14 on Thursday night at EverBank Field.

With good health being the buzz word of the week, Ryan was on the sidelines in a black warm-up suit, along with wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, tight end Tony Gonzalez, running back Michael Turner, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and defensive end John Abraham.

 ”We know what Matt Ryan can do,” Smith said. ”We know what Tony Gonzalez can do. It was a coaching decision. …We felt that we got enough work with those guys in the first three games.”

Five offensive starters and six defensive starters played one play each. Smith had told them they were playing one series.

The reserves got off to a fast start.

On Jacksonville’s first play from scrimmage, defensive tackle Vance Walker, starting for Babineaux, recovered a fumble on the Jaguars’ 5-yard line.

On the next play, running back Jacquizz Rodgers, starting for Turner, broke a tackle in the backfield and then ran around left end for a touchdown. Matt Bryant put the Falcons up 7-0 only 16 seconds into the game.

Smith then promptly pulled those five starters on offense and the six from the defense.

“I told them they were going to play one series and they did,” Smith said. “It was quick and short.”

The Falcons had a goal-line stand early in the second quarter. The Jaguars went for it on a fourth-and-1, and cornerback Robert McClain knocked down a Blaine Gabbert pass that was intended for Justin Blackmon in the end zone.

A dropped pass by wide receiver Kevin Cone on third-and-10 killed the Falcons’ ensuing drive. After forcing a punt, Davis was intercepted by Jacksonville linebacker J.K. Schaffer.

The Jaguars, who are coached by former Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, want to play the same kind of power football that helped the Falcons climb out of the NFL’s gutter.

After three runs by backup running back Jalen Parmele of seven, 21 and six yards, he scored from 14 yards out to make the score 7-7.

To start the second half, the Falcons flashed their new screen attack. Davis drew in the pass rushers and flipped a pass to running back Antone Smith, who gained 31 yards.

That drive stalled and Jacksonville answered with a big play. Backup quarterback Chad Henne connected with Kevin Elliott for a 77-yard touchdown to put the Jaguars up 14-7.

The Falcons tied the score when Davis tossed a short hitch to Cone, who broke two tackles on his way to a 49-yard touchdown to make the score 14-14.

“It was unreal,” Cone said. “I definitely wanted to make up for the drop that I had earlier. Dom threw a great pass and I was just able to make a play out there.”

Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee added a 39-yard field goal to put the Jaguars up 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville running back Richard Murphy scored on a 5-yard run with 3:21 left for the final margin.

The star of the battle of backups was Falcons punter Matt Bosher, who averaged 44 yards on his first six punts and placed three of them inside the 20. He had a long punt of 60 yards.

The game was key for Davis, an undrafted rookie from East Carolina. He had played well against third- and fourth-stringers in the previous games. The Falcons needed to see how he would function against stiffer competition in order to consider if could handle the backup quarterback job.

In the previous three games, Davis completed 19 of 32 pass attempts for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 88.9. Against the Jaguars, he completed 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 60.2.

“It was a learning experience,” Davis said. “I got to pretty much see everything, every coverage. I got knocked on my butt a couple of times. It was a good experience. That was something to learn from.”

Davis went against Jacksonville’s first-team defense in the first quarter.

“It’s a lot different,” Davis said. “I just had to try to stay within myself and keep doing the things I’ve been doing.”

Backup LukeMcCown, who was signed on Tuesday, was ready to play in case of an emergency.

Davis was poised in the pocket as he threw passes to eight different receivers. With his strong play, the team likely plans to keep three quarterbacks because Davis likely would be claimed on waivers.

“Dom has come in from the very beginning, from Day 1 and has put his head down and tried to learn the offense,” Smith said. “He’s done a great job learning our offense. This was the first opportunity for us to see him in extended play, not in a situation where he was playing against backups.”

Cone had a strong game, which could be the deciding factor in a competition with Drew Davis for the final wide receiver spot on the roster.

Third-round pick Lamar Holmes received his most extensive action of the exhibition season and held up well at left tackle.

It appears that the battle for the starting spot at right guard spot, Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz, will be decided by practice reps.

The Falcons, who open the regular season at Kansas City at 1 p.m. Sept. 9, must trim their roster from 75 players down to 53 by the 9 p.m. today.

PREGAME POST

JACKSONVILLE — Several key starters, including quarterback Matt Ryan, warmed up but did not dress for the final exhibition game against Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night at EverBank Field.

Also on the sidelines were wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, tight end Tony Gonzalez, running back Michael Turner, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and defensive end John Abraham.

Running back Jason Snelling (leg), safety Shann Schillinger (foot), cornerback Christopher Owens (hamstring), wide receiver Kerry Meier and defensive tackle Corey Peter (stress fracture in foot) did not dress because of injury.

Dominique Davis, the sensation of training camp, started at quarterback for the Falcons.

The reserves got off to a fast start.

On Jacksonville’s first play from scrimmage, defensive tackle Vance Walker, starting for Babineaux, recovered a fumble on the Jaguars’ 5-yard line.

Running back Jacquizz Rodgers, starting for Michael Turner, broke a tackle in the backfield and then ran around left end for a touchdown. Matt Bryant put the Falcons up 7-0 just 16 seconds into the game.

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50 comments Add your comment

Kyle

August 30th, 2012
7:29 pm

Uh huh

August 30th, 2012
7:46 pm

And he threw an INT

Uh huh

August 30th, 2012
7:48 pm

And the defense is horrible…..Still

J.J.M.

August 30th, 2012
8:04 pm

Davis needs to use his feet a lil more and scramble oe just get out to the edge

D man

August 30th, 2012
8:04 pm

I’m already bored with the game. Time to watch some real football. Changing to the college game…

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DawgNole

August 30th, 2012
9:05 pm

Thirty thousand my azz. Somebody can’t count if that’s 30,000. Three thousand maybe. Way past time to shorten the preseason and lengthen the “real” season.

DawgNole

August 30th, 2012
9:28 pm

Another loss to another garbage team. And all this is gonna change in 10 days? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
9:31 pm

All these final preseason games are boring………….and sloppy play too…….lots of fumbles and picks……………….need to play two preseason and add two real games to the season and make it clear who deserves to be in the post season……………….

Ordered the nfl pre-season thing and seeing a lot of nothing happening really…………mabe the 49ers-chargers game will be good……………………………………………..

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
9:40 pm

D-led should be putting up a post in a while telling us all about the Jags Rout………………………………

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
9:41 pm

That was fast D-Led ! ………………………..

DawgNole

August 30th, 2012
9:46 pm

Michael M.
August 30th, 2012
9:31 pm

All these final preseason games are boring………….and sloppy play too…….lots of fumbles and picks……………….need to play two preseason and add two real games to the season and make it clear who deserves to be in the post season……………….
_____________________

Exactly. And for the players whining about playing two extra “real” games, put in a rule that prohibits any player from competing in more than 16 of the 18 games. Let the coaching staff decide which games each player sits out. That way, the fans get two more games that actually mean something, the players aren’t put under extra duress, and strategy plays a role in determining which games are missed by key players.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
9:50 pm

Good idea you posted……………but I was looking at several games on the preseason thing and the games are terrible………it just shows the teams are trying to get to the Season healthy as possible and what makes it worse is these replacement refs…..it took over 5 minutes in the houston game to then decide to re kick the ball on a penalty…………………..

PMC

August 30th, 2012
9:54 pm

Well Holmes got worked over some tonight. That was probably good for him to see.

I think Dom Davis can win a few games. I hope he makes the roster honestly. I’d feel better about him than Luke McCown anyway even if Davis hasn’t done it against the ones.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
9:56 pm

How did Cool Hand Luke get out of playing any tonight ? Is he like ” The Superstar ” in that Reynolds movie ?………………………………

Dowell 319

August 30th, 2012
10:00 pm

Start Dominique Davis!!!

Kew

August 30th, 2012
10:03 pm

How many passes do the receivers has to drop to get Davis kicked off the team. Davis did good tonight he just had some sorry receivers. How many times the receivers dropped balls that hit them right between the numbers. I can’t take it.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
10:17 pm

I see a rb on that 49ers offense I sure do wish we could grab if they cut him and his Initials are AD……………………………………….

TalkReal

August 30th, 2012
10:25 pm

I understand that its preseason but Davis looks like matty ice. I think our system is going to hold our players back if the coaches continue to coach like they do. And I believe that Mr.Blank and thomas dimitroff already know this fact. We need a d-line coach that doesn’t just preach disturbing the quarterback but actually sack him,sack fumbles and raise hell. And since im on the topic Quizz seems to run like turner. Why you ask? Because they coach everyone the same. Its disappointing. How are we suppose to know if we have a lesean mccoy in our backfield if all of our back run like michael turner the bruiser and the rest are 5′9 and under. Its stupid. Again harsh critic here but i love my team.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
10:33 pm

Preseason must of ended last week for the 49ers they playing light out…………………………. on the chargers………………………14-0 with 6:17 left in the 1st quarter………talk about playoffs……they already are ready……………..

TalkReal

August 30th, 2012
10:33 pm

Middle linebacker Pat Schiller is a boss. He simply knows how to play the position. I want to know if he has speed because if so, NFL look out. Dent made a lot of gang tackles but also missed a lot of tackles and truthfully I wasn’t impressed. I really think he seemed hesitant. I am glad to see polite as the eventual starting after the cox injury. I think he has more to offer. I desperately hope, hope doesn’t see the field, on a few running plays he just stood there. I mean stood there. Right there. As in stationary.

iron head

August 30th, 2012
10:44 pm

D-lead I feel your pain having to respond to idiotic post. You sir are a true professional. I digress, falcons reserves looked good against, Jacksonville starters.

Michael M.

August 30th, 2012
11:03 pm

If TD is sly he keep an eye out on who gets cut off that 49ers team………..no way they hang on to all those ” Good” players they have……………….. and time me to cut loose here………think some drink too much and get pissed about a game and bring it online at times……………..my opinion !

Mike Bell 790

August 30th, 2012
11:19 pm

jgsbirds

August 30th, 2012
11:36 pm

@ charlie–i watched the jaguars broadcast unfortunately so i really can’t argue with you about laura’s interviews but i can tell that after working with her for several years in chattanooga and talking with her a little bit–she really likes the falcons and their front office, etc. she is very knowledgable about the game, has a ton of contacts, thus gets a ton of good scoops and overall is a great girl. so you maybe right about her interviews tonight i’m not sure–but she is working as a sideline reporter every weekend on fox–so she must be doing something right!!!!

Just Sayin.....

August 30th, 2012
11:42 pm

Hey Mr. Charlie…..welcome back.

OtistheDrunk

August 31st, 2012
8:27 am

Like Michael M., I too was puzzled they didn’t want to see QB Luke McCown at least run a series or two? Since he only signed Tuesday I can only guess it’s maybe cuz he doesn’t know the offensive plays yet..so they’ll have to rely on practice sessions to get him ready?

thouhtful

August 31st, 2012
8:45 am

I like Aron White more then that other TE that played last night. I hope they keep White for the TE practice squad. Rodgers and Peyton Thompson should be kept on practice squad.

TVile

August 31st, 2012
8:52 am

these practice games mean nothing–they should give away tickets for free to see this garbage. the falcons will light it up in the real games: 12-4, division title–bet the house on ATL!

North FLA Falcon

August 31st, 2012
9:15 am

I was at the game … there was a pretty decent crowd there and they were rowdy … Davis looked good … too many dropped passes … I thought the Oline did well, I only recall 1 sack … he didn’t tuck and run under pressure, he hung in there and was pretty smart overall … on defense the Jags had 2 long drives and we had several missed tackles … Falcons looked very good on special teams … bring on the Chiefs!!!

Ken

August 31st, 2012
9:17 am

Can’t wait for Game 1!! ATLANTA FALCONS RISE UP!!!!

The Big Fat Blogger

August 31st, 2012
9:19 am

Luke McCown didn’t play because the coaching staff was getting him ajusted to holding the “Falcons” clipboard, something he will probably be doing for the rest of his career!!!!!!!!!

Mister.Earl

August 31st, 2012
9:34 am

Experts Only

Does Davis have a quicker release than Matt Ryan?

The arm strength comparison may also be worth a second look.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 31st, 2012
9:37 am

We will have no dissing of the lovely Laura Okmin. She’s a PRO!!! (delete!)

North FLA Falcon

August 31st, 2012
9:42 am

The Jags can pound the rock … we really got gashed on several runs … need to fix this … I understand these guys are the scrubs but we need to plug some holes….pass defense looked pretty good … we play very physical and got away with several interference / holding calls in my opinion…

Saints R.E.A.M.

August 31st, 2012
10:07 am

TVvile, you are correct sir. These games are not worth the price of the tickets. They should sell all of the tickets for 5 bucks each and encourage people to come to a game. It would allow families to attend a game that they otherwise couldn’t afford and the stadiums could make money on the concessions. Its shameful to make season ticket holders buy this crap.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

RONK

August 31st, 2012
10:24 am

I am not having a warm “fuzzy” feeling after watching this pre season mess! I hope I am wrong.

North FLA Falcon

August 31st, 2012
10:29 am

Saints also 1-3 in preseason and they also lost to the Jags…….

Mike Franklin

August 31st, 2012
10:52 am

Next week, we’ll either see the REAL Falcons or we’ll be back to where we were four years ago.

Bullseye

August 31st, 2012
11:00 am

It may be preseason, but Wanker Falcon fans are in midseason form.

the real rick

August 31st, 2012
11:06 am

DD looks like a promising young quarterback….but last night showed that he is not quite ready for prime time……better than Redman…..but might not be ready to be a number 2 guy….will be interesting to see where he lands as he wont make it through the wires ….IMO…..As thin as the birds are on defense…it will be interesting to see what they do today…..

Any update on Cox??????

Pamela

August 31st, 2012
11:20 am

PEOPLE…it’s a PRE-SEASON game! It’s not that serious.

Susan

August 31st, 2012
11:22 am

North FLA Falcon: Actually the Saints won 2 games, not 1. Get it right! It’s preseason. The Saints is still a much better team than the FAILCANT’S. We will prove it again this season! :)

I usually just read but...

August 31st, 2012
11:24 am

johnm

August 31st, 2012
11:41 am

you people are way to critical. Its only preseason. @dawg nole- youre a bit of a moron

t_height

August 31st, 2012
11:52 am

I really like what Davis did tonight. He know what he can do with his feet, i like the fact that he concentrated on throwing the ball instead. The preseason isn’t all about winning the game its about learning and warming up in live action. He did one mistake that most rookies make with the interception but what I like most about him is he goes through all of his checks. Hopefully M. Ryan will finally do this. D. Davis also had too many dropped balls by receivers but the important thing is he was accurate and those players likely won’t be his targets if he is called upon. Defense is what I love but these guys look horrible all preseason.

BRAKING NEWS!!!!!!

August 31st, 2012
12:52 pm

FLACONS QB DOMINANT DAVIS CUT……..while shaving

LOLOLOLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not a falcon fan

August 31st, 2012
5:36 pm

Mark my word, No Super Bowl win this year or any year !!!!!!!! I will say it for falCANT fans now. Next Year !!!!!!!!!

Gamer

September 1st, 2012
2:40 am

HATE TO SEE DOMINIQUE FRANKS GO…..THE GUY STILL GOT UPSIDE…..HE IS JUST GOING OVER THINKING SOMETIMES BUT HE GOT THE ATHELETICISM TO PLAY DB OR RETURN MAN….

OH WELL THAT LIFE IN THE NFL…

THAT QUARTERBACK DAVIS IS LOOKING SOLID.

FALCONS ON THREE, DOMINATE