5:05 P.M. EDT
After a disappointing loss in Indianapolis to the Colts, the Atlanta Falcons returned home Sunday to host the Tennessee Titans who also were looking to bounce back after a Thursday night loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It seemed that after an opening home game win against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons were starting gain momentum and continuity but after a slow offensive start against Indianapolis and a great deal of undisciplined football, there seem to be more questions than answers coming into this contest.
Atlanta also would have to deal with the loss of one of their main catalyst on defense, as Keanu Neal was lost for the season with an Achilles injury.
The Falcons got off to another rough start as Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota found rookie wide receiver AJ Brown for a 55-yard scoring strike in the first play of their second drive, and they were down 7-0 early in the 1st Quarter.
Unlike the Indy game, the Falcons come back immediately with a six-play, 85-yard drive, capping it off with an Ito Smith 1-yard touchdown run with 8:30 left in the 1st.
Tennessee would come back on the next drive with a 14 play, 75-yard drive aided by several Atlanta defensive penalties and would score on a Mariota to Brown scoring connection of 11 yards with 2:26 still left in the 1st Quarter.
On the next drive the Falcons, the offense drove into Titan territory but defensive tackle Jurrell Casey would strip quarterback Matt Ryan of the football and recover the fumble just before the ended.
On the 2nd drive for Tennessee, the Titans would extend the lead as they went on a five-play, 35-yard drive and Cairo Santos would boot a 45-yard field goal, pushing the lead to 17-7 with 10:03 left in the 2nd. The Falcons would drive again in Tennessee territory but were stopped on a 4th and 1 run by Devonta Freeman.
Tennessee would get the ball back with 5:50 left before the half and would go on another six-play, 60-yard drive, hitting pay dirt with a Mariota to Corey Davis 23-yard hook up, pushing the lead to 24-7.
The Falcons would get the ball back with 2:23 left before the half and drive to the 22-yard line of the Titans but kicker Matt Bryant, who rarely misses from this distance, hit the uprights and Atlanta remained at 7.
Atlanta would open the 2nd half in a fast tempo offense and completions to Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu would get them in prime position for a touchdown. However, a holding call pushed the offense back and they had to settle for a 42-yard Matt Bryant field goal at the 11:39 mark in the 3rd Quarter.
The Falcons get a stop and get the ball back but the drive stalls. They decide to go for it on 4th down with 5:12 left in the 3rd and the Titans stop them cold on a Matt Ryan sack.
At the start of the 4th quarter, Tennessee drove down to the Falcon 12-yard line. Instead of kicking a field goal, they elected to go for it and the Atlanta defense stopped the 4th down attempt.
The Falcon offense took over at their own 12 with 13:09 left in the game. Atlanta would go on another promising drive but a personal foul penalty on center Alex Mack would take the Falcons out of the red zone and they would fail to capitalize on 4th down, giving the ball back to the Titans.
The Titans would go on a clock-killing drive that eventually stalled. The Falcons got the ball back with 1:58 left but would not score again, making the final score 24-10.
During the game, Julio Jones became the fastest player to reach 11,000 receiving yards. Jones reached the milestone in 115 games, twelve games faster than Calvin Johnson.
Atlanta will travel to Houston to take on the Texans next Sunday at 1 p.m. CST.