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Masters. ... It was an hono

  • 23 Jul
    BALTIMORE -- Matt Ryan looked sharp, Steven Jackson ran the ball well and the Atlanta defence was exceptional in the first half. That, more than the final score, is what the Falcons will take out of their 27-23 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. Ryan threw for 97 yards and a touchdown in four series, and the Falcons led by 16 before the Ravens backups rallied with a 20-point fourth quarter. Atlantas starters bounced back nicely from an opening 34-10 loss to Cincinnati one week earlier. Under Ryans direction, the Falcons pierced Baltimore (2-0) for 11 first downs in 16 1/2 minutes and built a 20-7 lead at halftime. The defence limited the defending Super Bowl champions to three first downs and 13 yards rushing before halftime -- a mere 10 by Ray Rice on eight carries. "The feel on the sideline was that there were a number of areas that we improved on as a football team," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. "Players that were going to be counting on, I think took a big step from Week One to Week Two." It was 23-7 before Baltimore came back against Atlantas subs. After Tyrod Taylor threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Tandon Doss to make it 23-20 with 7:52 left, and Asa Jackson scored on a 78-yard punt return with 6:18 remaining. "Were just happy to come away with the win," Rice said. "Our young guys are really improving. Thats special to us." Ryan went 8 for 15 and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. "We were better this week than we were last, and thats what you want to do in the preseason, you want to continue to get better," Ryan said. "Again, weve got a long way to go, but it was a good start." Steven Jackson had 42 yards rushing on eight carries against a defensive unit that has seven new starters. "Having success tonight is great for our confidence," he said. "Weve been working on the chemistry between the running back and the offensive line, and we feel the hard work showed tonight." The Ravens, conversely, were embarrassed by the easy fashion in which the Falcons moved downfield. "That was not us," Ravens defensive co-ordinator Dean Pees said at halftime. "Thats not how we play. Our fundamentals were not what they should be." Baltimores offence wasnt much better. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco played the first half, completing 7 of 9 passes 118 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith. But over the first 30 minutes, the Ravens got only 54 yards on 18 plays besides the pass to Smith. "That first half was about as poorly as we can play," sixth-year coach John Harbaugh said. "I cant remember us playing worse since we came here." Atlanta had its way with Baltimores defence, even though receiver Roddy White hurt his ankle in the first quarter and did not return. "We made the decision that Roddy was not going to come back in the ballgame," Smith said, refusing to address the particulars of the injury. After going three and out on the opening series, Flacco put the Ravens up 7-3 with a touchdown pass to Smith, who cut across the middle of the field from the right side and outran Asante Samuel to the end zone. Atlanta bounced right back, moving 80 yards in seven plays to take a 10-7 lead. Jones burned cornerback Jimmy Smith for three catches totalling 55 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown play. In the first quarter, the Falcons ran 21 plays compared to seven for Baltimore and built a 10-1 advantage in first downs. "We were just sloppy. We never got into a rhythm," Flacco said. "The one drive we did score on, it was just one play." A field goal by Jeremy Shelley and a 2-yard run by Jacquizz Rodgers made it 20-7. Last season, the Ravens held opponents under 20 points in nine games (including two in the playoffs). In their preseason opener, they hammered Tampa Bay 44-16. This game was decidedly different. "This was good for us. A little humble pie," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We had a lot of success last week, with everything pretty much going our way. Atlanta is a very good team, and you cant make the mistakes we did. Its that simple." Guard Jah Reid said, "Well learn from it, well watch film from it and well get better from it." NOTES: Falcons backup quarterback Dominique Davis went 8 for 10 for 98 yards. ... Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez was scratched because hes participating in only portions of training camp as part of his agreement to postpone his retirement. ... Baltimore played without tight end Dallas Clark, who signed a one-year contract on Tuesday. Visanthe Shiancoe, another newcomer at tight end, did not have a catch. Keith Tkachuk Jersey . Siddikur, whose previous win on the circuit came in Brunei three years ago, finished his bogey-free round with a birdie on the 18th for a total of 17-under 199. Indias Shiv Chowrasia, who has finished runner-up in this tournament twice, was in second place after a 66. Jeremy Roenick Jersey . "Thank you for the warm welcome," Beckham said on an 80-degree February morning. In this case, it was soccer weather. The sport moved a step closer to returning to South Florida on Wednesday, when Beckham confirmed he has exercised his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in Miami. . Defencemen Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and forward Ryan Getzlaf also scored for the Canadians, who started their gold-medal defence 2-0. Goalie Roberto Luongo, getting the call in place of Game 1 starter Carey Price, was solid when needed in making 23 saves for the shutout. Teppo Numminen Coyotes Jersey .J. -- Marshawn Lynch said Thursday it will be good to get back to football after the Seattle quiet talking running back wrapped up his final mandatory media session of Super Bowl week. Wayne Gretzky Jersey . It was the second consecutive win for the Pacers (2-5), who lost their first five preseason games. Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-5) with 17 points and eight assists and Al Horford had 12 points and seven rebounds. Mike Scott scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Reaction to the death of golf great Arnold Palmer on Sunday at age 87 in Pittsburgh:---Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself. Along the way, he had millions of adoring fans -- Barbara and I among them. We were great competitors, who loved competing against each other, but we were always great friends along the way. Arnold always had my back, and I had his. We were always there for each other. That never changed. He was the king of our sport and always will be. -- Jack Nicklaus---He meant so much to the game and to me personally. I knew that I could always call him for advice, and I looked forward to seeing him at Bay Hill and the Masters. ... It was an honor and privilege to have known Arnold, and Im forever grateful for his friendship. -- Tiger Woods---Heres to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold. -- President Barack Obama---Arnold was many things to many people and undoubtedly made golf more popular, but to me he was simply a dear friend for over 60 years. Of course, like anybody we had our differences but these never stood in the way of our relationship and I will miss him terribly. He could be difficult and demanding but also blessed with charisma, charm and patience. ... Muff, I will raise my glass and toast your life tonight my friend, and hope to be reunited for another round together in time. -- Gary Player---Ive respected a number of players who came before me, but Arnold Palmer was my model on and off the course. As an amateur I played my very first practice round at the Masters with him at his invitation. I saw how much time and attention he gave to fans, the media and worthy charitable causes. Im like every other fan of his enormous influence on the game and his great generosity off the course. Im saddened by his death but Im a better player and perhaps a better person thanks to his example. -- Phil Mickelson---You changed the game with your charisma and personality. Every player, me included, should thank you for what you brought to our great game. You had this incredible ability to open the eyes of the world to the beauty of golf. You played with presidents, celebrities and CEOs. In doing so you opened the game to commercialization. For that I thank you. -- Greg Norman---No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it. It has been said many times over in so many ways, but beyond his immense talent, Arnold transcended our sport with an extraordinarily appealing personality and genuineness that connected with millions, truly making him a champion of the people. The fact that his popularity never waned more than a quarter century after his last competitive victory speaks volumes to the man, the icon and tthe legendary figure he was.ddddddddddddMore than his words, Arnolds actions spoke to his unequivocal love of golf and belief that no individual can be or should be bigger than the game. Arnold totally gave of himself to support golf and its growth. He has served as a role model for generations of PGA Tour members in ways large and small. The game, and all of us involved with it, are so much richer for having had the fortune to have Arnold willingly serve as its global champion and ambassador. -- PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem---Arnolds bold and daring approach to the game, combined with his citizenship, warmth, humor, humility and grace, were truly the signature of the man that we came to know, and will fondly remember, as The King. His presence at Augusta National will be sorely missed, but his impact on the Masters remains immeasurable -- and it will never wane. -- Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.---Arnold was the folk hero of golf. Not only was he the greatest personality the game has produced, he was King of the fairways every time he played. We were only two weeks apart in age and great rivals. We certainly had some wonderful times together. -- Peter Thomson---Barbara and I mourn The King, Arnie, the peoples champion. He brought golf to millions by his daring and caring. We miss him already. -- former President George H.W. Bush---The world has lost an original, a sports legend, a true gentleman, and a generous and compassionate human being. I have lost a friend. ... I first learned of Arnold Palmer from my father. He was a member of `Arnies Army. He didnt even play golf -- and he loved `The King. -- former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice---Arnold Palmer defined what it is be a professional inside and outside the ropes. All of golf says `thanks Arnold. -- Peter Jacobsen---Legends never die ... you will live on forever Arnie ... I will never forget the bear hug in front of the clubhouse at Augusta, to watching you hit your final tee shot there, and to spending time with you in the locker room at Bay Hill ... thank you for being you and giving me the opportunity to do what I get to do every day! I Love you as did everyone. RIP The KING!! -- Rickie Fowler---Without question Arnolds participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalize golf. The fact he was loved and recognized by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on. -- European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley---The Legends of all Legends in the game of golf! RIP my friend, always loved u and always will! God Bless my Friend! (hash)AP -- John Daly---Im one of the fortunate folks to have spent time with the King. Incredibly blessed to have known him. -- David Duval ' ' '