ATLANTA (Aug. 13, 2005) -- Michael Vick was sacked a couple of times and fumbled during his brief time on the field.
That's OK. At least he didn't get hurt.
Ed Hartwell intercepted a pass against his former team and another Atlanta newcomer, Todd Peterson, kicked three field goals to lead the Falcons past the Baltimore Ravens 16-3 in a preseason game Saturday night.
Vick played two eventful series in the first quarter, then called it a night. In a 2003, the quarterback broke his leg in a preseason game against the Ravens, costing him the first 11 weeks of the regular season while Atlanta tumbled to 5-11.
"That shook me up a little bit," Vick said. "Now, I'm trying to protect myself. I'll do anything possible, whether it's getting the ball out of my hand or going down if I have to. If I've got to take the sack, I'll take the sack."
He took two against the Ravens. The first came after Hartwell bit the team he played with the last four seasons. Kyle Boller threw a terrible pass right to the middle linebacker, who returned the interception to the Baltimore 14.
"I knew I wasn't going to have many plays," said Hartwell, the Falcons' most prominent free agent signing. "I wanted to make an impact early."
Now, he looks forward to chatting with Ray Lewis and some of his former teammates.
"It's nothing personal with those guys. We're all friends," Hartwell said. "But I've got bragging rights for the next year, point blank. I can brag. They can't."
The Falcons couldn't do much with Hartwell's big play. A breakdown in protection left Tommy Polley free to sack Vick -- with Lewis also bearing down -- and Atlanta settled for Peterson's 29-yard field goal.
Detmer is the Falcons' third-string quarterback; Anelli is a fourth-string tight end and a long shot to make the team.
Peterson, a former Georgia kicker who signed with the Falcons during the offseason to replace Jay Feely, also connected from 34 and 27 yards. He missed a 46-yarder.
Vick directed a 78-yard drive on the Falcons' second possession. He completed two passes for 32 yards and benefited from a 32-yard pass-interference call on Chris McAlister.
But Deion Sanders showed he's still got a little Prime Time in him. The 37-year-old cornerback caught Vick on a blitz, knocking the ball loose and recovering it himself at the Ravens 18.
"I'm not shy about my game," Sanders said. "That's why I'm here. That's why your microphone is in front of me. I make plays."
|Deion Sanders' sack caused Michael Vick to fumble.|
The Falcons (2-0) remained unbeaten in the preseason after beating Indianapolis in the Japan Bowl last week. This was Baltimore's first game, and it showed.
"Our intensity was good. We ran the ball really well. Our physicality was good," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We made a lot of little mistakes that should not have happened."
"We're continuing to jell," Boller said. "A couple of weeks down the road, we'll have the chemistry."
The Ravens held out Atlanta native Jamal Lewis, who had reported to camp earlier in the week. The former 2,000-yard rusher is coming off ankle surgery and recently completed his sentence for a 5-year-old cocaine deal: four months in prison and two months at a halfway house.
Chester Taylor filled in as the starter, carrying eight times for 55 yards.
White described his injury as a high ankle sprain and said he'll probably miss at least one or two days of practice -- a setback for the rookie who is still learning the offense.
"It was hurting pretty bad," he said, "but I didn't want to come out of the game."
Notes: The best receiver at the Georgia Dome watched from a fourth-row seat behind the Falcons' bench. Philadelphia's Terrell Owens, who was kicked out of camp for a week after a heated dispute with Eagles coach Andy Reid, lives in Atlanta and has plenty of time on his hands until Wednesday. ... Baltimore third-string QB Derek Anderson lost a fumble that led to an Atlanta field goal and threw an interception deep in Atlanta territory late in the game.
|FG||Todd Peterson 29 Yd, 12:11. Drive: 4 plays, 3 yards in 1:56.|
|FG||Matt Stover 23 Yd, 11:17. Drive: 11 plays, 77 yards in 5:17.|
|TD||Mark Anelli, 18 Yd pass from Ty Detmer (Todd Peterson kick is good), 10:35. Drive: 4 plays, 36 yards in 1:52.|
|FG||Todd Peterson 34 Yd, 8:53. Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards in 1:28.|
|FG||Todd Peterson 27 Yd, 4:47. Drive: 5 plays, 20 yards in 2:25.|
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