Falcons extend lead to 24-7 at half

Falcons QB Matt Ryan over 200 yards passing in first two quarters


ATLANTA – The Falcons opened up the margin in the second quarter, scoring just before halftime to take a 24-7 lead into intermission on Sunday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Here's a recap of the first half.

First quarter:Both teams scored on their opening drives and the Packers and Falcons were tied 7-7 after one quarter.

The Falcons took the ball first and went right down the field and scored. RB Devonta Freeman carried four times for 18 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard TD plunge. WR Julio Jones caught two passes for 53 yards to get the Falcons into scoring range.

The Packers came right back, despite starting with two backups at the tackle spots in Kyle Murphy on the left side and Justin McCray on the right. Back-to-back third downs were converted by an end-around run by WR Randall Cobb and a 14-yard completion to TE Richard Rodgers. The Falcons were then called for pass interference on TE Martellus Bennett on the next third down, moving the chains again.

On the next snap, RB Ty Montgomery was wide open in the right flat for a 23-yard catch-and-run all the way down to the 2. After an offside call on Atlanta, Montgomery dove in from the 1 to tie the game with 3:43 left in the quarter.

Green Bay's defense responded with a three-and-out, as LBs Clay Matthews and Joe Thomas combined on a third-down sack of QB Matt Ryan, forcing a punt.

Atlanta's defense then answered with a three-and-out, with the help of a holding penalty on C Corey Linsley.

Before the end of the quarter, Packers DT Mike Daniels (hamstring) and WR Jordy Nelson (quad) were both announced with injuries and questionable to return.

Second quarter:

The Falcons opened the second quarter with a scoring drive to take the lead. A pair of 24-yard receptions by WR Mohamed Sanu preceded a 15-yard grab by Jones to convert third-and-11. WR Justin Hardy added a 19-yard catch over the middle to make it goal-to-go, and Freeman finished it with a 2-yard TD run.

The Packers couldn't answer this time. After an 8-yard pass to WR Geronimo Allison converted on third-and-3, Green Bay overcame a sack with a 17-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb. But on third-and-1, McCray was called for a false start, and then Bennett dropped the ensuing third-down pass. P Justin Vogel's punt was downed at the Atlanta 9-yard line.

Atlanta started its next drive with a 35-yard run by RB Tevin Coleman. A 27-yard pass to Jones put the Falcons inside the Green Bay 30. The Packers' defense held there, though, as Matthews sacked Ryan on third down. Falcons K Matt Bryant was good from 51 yards out, and Atlanta led 17-7 with 3:21 left in the half.

The Packers quickly stalled again. A defensive holding penalty bailed them out of one third-and-long, but Green Bay couldn't take advantage and punted at the two-minute warning.

The Packers got a quick stop, though. Pass breakups by CB Kevin King and S Morgan Burnett produced a three-and-out, and after a penalty on the punt, the Packers took over on their own 5-yard line with 1:09 left in the half.

An offensive pass interference penalty on Bennett and a false start on Cobb put the Packers back on their own 3-yard line, and then QB Aaron Rodgers was intercepted by CB Desmond Trufant on a deep ball for WR Geronimo Allison.

Taking over on the Green Bay 37, the Falcons started with a 9-yard scramble by Ryan, who then hit Sanu over the middle for 21 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 7 with 29 seconds left, and Coleman finished the drive with a 3-yard TD grab. The touchdown gave Ryan 201 passing yards in the first half.

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