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Vick provides thrills in Falcons' loss to Packers

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003

ATLANTA Michael Vick was 6-for-7 for 110 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to Brian Finneran, before the Atlanta Falcons squandered a big lead in their preseason opener, losing to the Green Bay Packers 27-21 Saturday night.

Vick, voted to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a starter, showed no signs of letting up. Playing just the first quarter, he guided a pair of touchdown drives before another possession stalled out on downs in Green Bay territory.

The Packers, coming off a 9-0 loss to Kansas City in a preseason opener shortened by inclement weather, got off to another sloppy start. They trailed 21-3 in the second quarter and jumped offsides five times in the first half.

Green Bay rallied once the starters were done for the night. Najeh Davenport scored on a 3-yard run late in the first half, then sparked a 17-point third quarter with a 4-yard TD run.

Panthers 20, Redskins 0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Carolina's new running back Stephen Davis ran for 74 yards on seven carries against his former team as the Panthers beat Washington 20-0.

It was Carolina's first win ever over Washington. The Panthers are 0-6 in regular season games against the Redskins, and had been 0-1 in preseason matchups.

Davis didn't reach the end zone for Carolina, but he reeled off 34-yard gain the second time he touched the ball. Not bad for a running back not wanted in Spurrier's pass-happy offense in Washington.

Titans 10, Browns 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Eddie George ran for a touchdown and Joe Nedney kicked a 22-yard field goal as Tennessee held off Cleveland in the exhibition opener for both teams.

The Browns nearly rallied to win behind Josh Booty who found Marc Soumah in the end zone in the final minute. But officials ruled the pass incomplete even though a replay showed Soumah may have gotten his hands under the ball.

Steve McNair went 7-for-10 for 61 yards in two drives for the Titans, while George ran seven times for 24 yards.

Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch, the top pick in the 1999 draft, didn't look very good as he played the first three series. Couch was 4-for-8 for 17 yards. Kelly Holcomb, hoping to win the starting job, was 7-of-11 for 71 yards.

Lions 26, Steelers 13

DETROIT Joey Harrington threw a touchdown pass to Scotty Anderson in the final seconds of the first half to give Steve Mariucci a win in his first game as Detroit's coach.

Mariucci, let go from San Francisco after going 60-43 in six seasons, returned to his home state in February, replacing Marty Mornhinweg, who went 5-27 in two seasons.

While Detroit doubled Pittsburgh's score, the Lions weren't impressive against the Steelers' first-string units.

Detroit's offense produce its first points against reserves, and the Lions' defense was fortunate Tommy Maddox under-threw Plaxico Burress twice on potential touchdowns.

Jaguars 16, Vikings 14

MINNEAPOLIS Ike Charlton returned a fumble 97 yards for a first-half touchdown to lead Jacksonville to the win in coach Jack Del Rio's first game.

The Vikings, whose 41 turnovers were the second most in the league last year, fumbled four times losing two of them that led to 10 Jaguars points.

Seth Marler kicked two field goals, and Mark Brunell looked sharp leading Jacksonville's first-team offense. He went 10-for-13 for 110 yards and Jimmy Smith caught five balls for 70 yards.

Rookie Onterrio Smith rushed 12 times for 33 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings.

Broncos 20, Texans 12

HOUSTON Jake Plummer threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cole in his Denver debut.

Plummer misfired on his first two attempts before completing his last three for 47 yards on the TD drive in the first quarter. The scoring pass, which like most of Plummer's throws came on a rollout, hit Cole on the right side of the end zone.

Texans quarterback David Carr finished 4-for-7 for 29 yards before yielding to Tony Banks. New running back Stacey Mack gained 49 yards on 14 carries.

49ers 24, Chiefs 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Ken Dorsey threw two touchdown passes and Tim Rattay added one as San Francisco won its first exhibition game under new coach Dennis Erickson.

Rattay, who started at quarterback while Jeff Garcia rested his ailing back, was 8-for-9 for 90 yards, including a 39-yard scoring strike to Brandon Lloyd in the second quarter.

Dorsey, battling Brandon Doman for the third-string quarterback job, connected with Arnaz Battle on a 15-yard scoring pass and Jason Isem on a 2-yard TD.

The Chiefs (1-1), who led the NFL last season in scoring, have not had a touchdown in two exhibition games.

Bills 20, Ravens 19

BALTIMORE Antonio Brown returned a punt 87 yards for the decisive touchdown with 3:19 left, and Nate Clements intercepted Chris Redman's pass to set up a score for Buffalo.

Brown, a rookie wide receiver, blew past the Ravens' punt return coverage and cruised down the left sideline to make it 20-13.

Ravens first-round pick Kyle Boller responded with a 26-yard touchdown throw to Randy Hymes with 23 seconds left, but the two-point conversion pass failed.

Bears 20, Colts 18

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Rex Grossman drove Chicago 50 yards in the final 2:39 and Paul Edinger kicked a 38-yard game-winning field goal as time expired for the Bears.

Grossman, the Bears' first-round draft pick, was 9-for-21 including a 12-yard completion to rookie Bobby Wade on fourth down during the game-winning drive.

It was also the Bears debut of quarterback Kordell Stewart, who signed with Chicago in the offseason after losing his job in Pittsburgh. Stewart was 7-of-8 for 29 yards.

Cardinals 13, Cowboys 0

TEMPE, Ariz. Emmitt Smith made a cameo appearance against his old team and Dallas was shut out in Bill Parcells' debut as coach on a sweltering Saturday night.

Bill Gramatica kicked field goals from 40 and 27 yards, and Kevin Kasper scored on a 35-yard reverse to give Arizona the win.

Even though it was 110 degrees at kickoff and 107 at the start of the second half, Smith barely broke a sweat in his first appearance for Arizona.

He participated in the Cardinals' first three plays, then called it a night. The NFL's career rushing leader carried for no gain on the game's first play. Then on third-and-10, he took a pass from Jeff Blake and dodged a couple of Cowboys for an 11-yard gain and a first down.

Seahawks 20, Chargers 7

SEATTLE Matt Hasselbeck completed six of his first seven passes and finished 8-of-11 for 75 yards as Seattle beat San Diego.

Shaun Alexander and Maurice Morris each scored on a 1-yard touchdown run as the Seahawks built a 14-0 halftime lead.

The Seahawks also made plenty of big plays on special teams and the defense denied the Chargers from the 3 late in the third quarter when Terreal Bierria intercepted a pass in the end zone.



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