, Matt Ryan gets miffed about a poor showing.
He had nothing to complain about Friday.
Ryan guided the Atlanta Falcons right down the field for a touchdown on their first possession, hooking up with Austin Hooper on a 4-yard scoring pass , and led another impressive drive before calling it a night in a 28-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ryan finished 5 of 7 for 90 yards, looking very much like the quarterback who won the MVP during the 2016 season even though receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman didn’t play for the second week in a row.
It was certainly an encouraging contrast to the preseason opener, when the Falcons (0-2) were blanked 17-0 by the New York Jets and Ryan played only one brief, dismal series .
“He wants to attack,” coach Dan Quinn said. “That’s what I saw tonight.”
With a resting Jones watching from the sideline, Calvin Ridley got a chance to shine for the Falcons. The first-round pick from Alabama hauled in the first touchdown of his professional career on a 7-yard pass from backup quarterback Matt Schaub .
Ridley finished with three receptions for 49 yards.
“It felt good making some catches and getting that first touchdown out of the way,” he said. “I’m ready to get some more.”
Kansas City’s new starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, had an up-and-down game but delivered one tantalizing pass.
Alex Smith’s replacement was intercepted on a deep throw by Falcons safety Damontae Kazee , who drifted over from the middle of the field to pick a ball intended for Sammy Watkins. Mahomes caught a break when another ill-advised throw into the end zone was dropped by Falcons cornerback Blidi Wren-Wilson, allowing the Chiefs to salvage a field goal.
But, with just 17 seconds left in the first half, Mahomes made the most of his final pass. Three Atlanta defensive backs inexplicably allowed Tyreek Hill to get behind them, and Mahomes delivered the pass in stride for a 69-yard touchdown .
The throw actually traveled 70 yards in the air — ample evidence of Mahomes’ enormous potential .
“I don’t think I’ve ever thrown one that far in a game Joel Armia Jersey Kids
,” said Mahomes, who finished 8 of 12 for 138 yards. “I don’t know many people that would be able to catch that ball going that far in a game. I told (Hill) if I had thrown a spiral, he wouldn’t have been able to get to it. He disagreed with that.”
Chad Henne took over for at quarterback to begin the second half. He connected with Gehrig Dieter on a 27-yard touchdown that put the Chiefs (1-1) ahead for the first time, capping a 10-play, 76-yard drive.
Ben Niemann finished off the scoring with a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown after picking off a horrible throw by Atlanta’s third-string quarterback, undrafted rookie Kurt Benkert.
“He overthrew it and gave me a gift,” said Niemann, also an undrafted rookie.
While many Atlanta fans were still backed up in security lines outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Ryan began his impressive showing by converting on third-and-11 with a 29-yard pass to Hooper.
“Classic Matt,” Quinn said. “He buys some times, moves around in the pocket and rips one.”
Tevin Coleman, the other half of the Falcons’ dynamic 1-2 punch at running back, broke off a pair of 15-yard runs before Ryan rolled to his left and hit Hooper on the short scoring pass. The tight end showed impressive athleticism, hurtling into the end zone over cornerback Steven Nelson .
After the Chiefs went three-and-out, Ryan guided the Falcons deep into Kansas City territory once again. The big play was a 36-yard completion to Ridley , who beat David Amerson to haul in the pass.
On fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs 20 Marlon Mack Jersey
, the Falcons passed on a field goal attempt, which was essentially irrelevant since 43-year-old kicker Matt Bryant skipped his second straight preseason game. Ryan’s pass for Ridley was broken up by Kendall Fuller, halting a seven-play, 69-yard drive.
Nelson was kneed in the head by Hooper on Atlanta’s first touchdown and staggered off the field. He was evaluated for a possible concussion.
Another Kansas City player, linebacker Terrance Smith, sustained an ankle injury.
The Chiefs also were missing star safety Eric Berry, who didn’t dress while he continues to nurse a sore heel.
SARK ON THE FIELD
For the second week in a row, Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian called plays from the field.
That’s where Sarkisian prefers to be, but Quinn ordered him upstairs last season. Now, with Greg Knapp — a longtime offensive coordinator who was hired as Atlanta’s quarterback coach — working from the press box and passing along what he sees to Sarkisian, it seems everyone has found an arrangement to their liking.
“Right now, I’m comfortable with the way he’s seeing it and calling plays,” Quinn said.
There were no apparent protests during the national anthem.
Chiefs: Hit the road again to face the Chicago Bears on Aug. 25.
Falcons: Travel to Jacksonville that same day to face the Jaguars in a matchup between 2017 playoff teams.
The new-look Arizona Cardinals looked a lot like the old ones with a desert dud of a debut under coach Steve Wilks.
Pushed around all afternoon, the Cardinals were dominated in nearly aspect on Sunday to open the Wilks era with an ugly 24-6 loss to the Washington Redskins.
"Obviously, you don't want to start the season like this," Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford said. "We felt like we were in a much better position and felt like we were going to come out and play much better than we did."
Coming off an 8-8 season Josh Ferguson Jersey
, the Cardinals were hoping to rebound quickly with a new coach and quarterback.
Wilks, the former Carolina defensive coordinator, was hired to replace the retired Bruce Arians. Bradford signed a $20 million contract to replace the retired Carson Palmer and, hopefully, teach the NFL ropes to Josh Rosen, the No. 10 overall pick in this year's draft.
Bradford was mostly ineffective, unable to find receivers downfield or move Arizona's offense. He threw for 153 yards with an interception on 20-of-34 passing 鈥?most of that after Arizona fell behind 21-0 and had to start passing.
David Johnson, signed to a three-year contract extension the night before, found little room to run and became an afterthought when the Cardinals had to start passing, finishing with 37 yards on nine carries. Arizona had 213 total yards and went 1 for 8 on third downs.
"You saw early on we were running the ball well," Wilks said. "When you get in a situation where you get behind, it sometimes gets you out of what you really want to do. All night we were playing catch-up and that was really the issue, that we were never really able to get into a rhythm when we go behind."
Arizona's defense played on its heels all day, missing tackles and assignments as Washington had one long drive after another.
Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-30 passing in his first game with Washington. Adrian Peterson ran for 96 yards and scored in his first game in his Washington debut and the Redskins racked up 429 yards to win their opener for the first time in five tries under coach Jay Gruden.
"There's no reason to panic, but this is not OK, this is not acceptable Marquise Goodwin Jersey
," Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters said. "We have to take a good look in the mirror and point the finger at ourselves."
The Redskins pushed the Cardinals defense around throughout the first half, reeling off small-chunk plays on scoring drives of 80, 73 and 92 yards.
Smith hit Chris Richardson on a 13-yard pass for the first score and Jordan Reed on a 4-yard TD to put the Redskins up 21-0. Peterson scored on a 1-yard run in between. Washington had 261 yards and controlled the ball for nearly 23 minutes in the first half.
Arizona's offense spent the first half sputtering in neutral, leading to boos from the home crowd.
Bradford was unable to throw anything down the field, hitting 3 of 7 passes for 11 yards. Outside of a couple of decent Johnson runs, the Cardinals had no running game to speak of, finishing the half with 36 total yards 鈥?one less than they had in penalties.
"We can't run 13 plays in the first half and expect to win," Bradford said. "We've got to figure out a way to get points early, figure out a way to convert third downs."
The Cardinals' offense finally got something going late in the third quarter, but Bradford overthrew Ricky Seals-Jones and was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar.
Johnson scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter. After the failed 2-point conversion, the Cardinals were down 24-6 鈥?well on their way to losing their first game under Wilks.
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