Saturday, August 22, 2009
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ST. LOUIS - Atlanta Falcons starters were flawless. St. Louis Rams starters had no answer, even against the second-stringers.
Michael Turner accounted for all but 12 yards on the opening 77-yard drive and Matt Ryan was 7 for 8 for 81 yards with a touchdown pass in two series before he, too, called it a day in a 20-13 preseason victory Friday night.
Steven Jackson had three carries for 10 yards in one series for the Rams (1-1), a bust in new coach Steve Spagnuolo's first home game as head coach in a half-empty Edward Jones Dome.
St. Louis, 5-27 the last two years, had approached the game with confidence after beating the Jets on the road in their preseason opener but struggled to move the ball minus two offensive line starters and quarterback Marc Bulger.
Offensive tackle Jason Smith, the second pick of the draft, got his first start after Alex Barron was scratched due to knee soreness. The Rams totaled 79 yards on 30 carries after totaling 193 yards rushing against the Jets.
Turner had seven carries for 65 yards on the opening drive against a defense he burned for 208 yards in last year's regular-season finale in Atlanta. He busted a 43-yard gain on the second play and finished the drive, scoring untouched on a 1-yard run over the left side, before spending the rest of the game on the sideline.
The Falcons (1-1) were good enough to overcome three turnovers that resulted in all 13 points for St. Louis. Atlanta's defense has allowed three points in the first half of both preseason games.