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In-game blog: Jags vs. Falcons

jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman followed the action live as the Jaguars took on the Falcons Saturday night. Here's what he wrote.

8/9/08 at 3:54 PM

Hi, everybody, it's time to start a new season of game-day blogging. The Jaguars host the Falcons today in the preseason opener for both teams.

8/9/08 at 4:36 PM

The Jaguars have waived/injured defensive end James Wyche and replaced him on the roster with journeyman defensive end Bo Schobel, 27, who has been with the Titans, Colts and Cardinals. Wyche sustained a season-ending Achilles injury in practice this week.

8/9/08 at 5:54 PM

Word is that former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich is to sign with the Steelers, who lost backup quarterback Charlie Batch on Friday night for 4-6 weeks with a broken collarbone.

8/9/08 at 5:59 PM

Tonight's game, of course, is a homecoming for new Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, five years the Jaguars' defensive coordinator under Jack Del Rio.

8/9/08 at 6:45 PM

Instead of providing inactives, I'll wait until I know the complete list of players who won't dress for tonight's game. It'll be a long list.

8/9/08 at 7:32 PM

Atlanta won the coin toss and will receive. Enjoy the game.

8/9/08 at 7:33 PM

I will be in preseason blog mode, folks. Please adjust your expectations accordingly. I save my best adjectives and adverbs for the regular season.

8/9/08 at 7:34 PM

Chris Redman starts at QB for the Falcons. Mike Smith knows Redman from his days in Baltimore.

8/9/08 at 7:37 PM

Three and out; Jags take over at their 47-yard line.

8/9/08 at 7:38 PM

David Garrard completes a swing pass to Maurice Jones-Drew for six yards.

8/9/08 at 7:40 PM

Not dressed for the Jaguars: Reggie Williams, Fred Taylor, Brian Williams, Chad Nkang, Brad Meester, Jerry Porter, Troy Williamson, George Wrighster and Jeremy Mincey.

8/9/08 at 7:40 PM

Garrard's pass for Matt Jones was nearly intercepted. It's fourth down and Adam Podlesh will punt.

8/9/08 at 7:41 PM

The punt is fair-caught at the Atlanta 11. It was a finesse-type, end-over-end punt. Joe D. has been working with Podlesh on that one.

8/9/08 at 7:43 PM

Michael Turner explodes around right end for nine yards. He's quick.

8/9/08 at 7:46 PM

Turner is impressive. He made four guys missed and turned a loss into a five-yard gain.

8/9/08 at 7:47 PM

Reggie Nelson is clearly going to be featured in this defense. He is be sent to where the ball is.

8/9/08 at 7:48 PM

There's a perfect example. Nelson intercepts a deep pass fro Michael Jenkins. Drayton Florence tipped it and Nelson caught the deflection. Florence made the play happen.

8/9/08 at 7:50 PM

Jones-Drew rips up the middle for 11 to the Jags 17. He got hit hard at the end of the run.

8/9/08 at 7:51 PM

Atlanta is playing cover two. Would you expect anything else?

8/9/08 at 7:52 PM

I'm impressed by the Falcons' pass-coverage. Their defenders have blanketed the Jaguars' receivers.

8/9/08 at 7:53 PM

Scott Starks was right on the punt-returner as he caught it. Starks is just having another fantastic summer. He's a football player in every sense of the term.

8/9/08 at 7:54 PM

There's a break in the action. I wonder if Michael Vick is reading my blog.

8/9/08 at 7:55 PM

Matt Ryan is at QB.

8/9/08 at 7:57 PM

Three and out. Ryan completed one of three passes.

8/9/08 at 7:59 PM

Garrard is remaining in the game for his third series. That's kind of surprising. You don't expect a QB of his ranking to play that deep into the first quarter.

8/9/08 at 8:00 PM

Garrard to Matt Jones for nine on a quick slant.

8/9/08 at 8:01 PM

Jones-Drew is running like a guy in midseason form.

8/9/08 at 8:02 PM

Greg Jones bursts off the left side for 14. That's the best I've seen him run since before he blew out his knee two years ago.

8/9/08 at 8:02 PM

Garrard for Mike Walker. It was in his hands. He should've caught it.

8/9/08 at 8:03 PM

Garrard scrambles for 21. I'd rather he not do that.

8/9/08 at 8:04 PM

Garrard to Matt Jones for a first down at the Falcons' eight-yard line.

8/9/08 at 8:05 PM

Garrard to Walker at the one-yard line. Third and goal.

8/9/08 at 8:06 PM

Touchdown! Garrard runs straight ahead. There was very little resistance.

8/9/08 at 8:07 PM

That'll probably do it for Garrard. That's a good way to end his night.

8/9/08 at 8:09 PM

Quentin Groves is in the game on defense.

8/9/08 at 8:10 PM

He got blocked on the run. That's why you gotta pick your spots with a guy like that.

8/9/08 at 8:11 PM

They went right at him again and he ran upfield. This is a great experience for Groves. It's a different ballgame from college football.

8/9/08 at 8:11 PM

Ryan to Roddy White for a first down. That's the end of the first quarter.

8/9/08 at 8:15 PM

Groves is offside. It's second and six at the Falcons 41.

8/9/08 at 8:15 PM

Now Tony McDaniel is offside; second and one.

8/9/08 at 8:17 PM

I can't imagine the Falcons have targeted, but everything is being aimed at him. He just got blasted by a wham block.

8/9/08 at 8:18 PM

Insert Groves into that last entry. Thanks.

8/9/08 at 8:19 PM

They're calling catch but it'll be reviewed. He never had possession. Challenge, Jack.

8/9/08 at 8:20 PM

He is challenging. It was a real nice pass by Ryan, who is starting to warm to the action. Jenkins got two feet down but the ball came out as he was going out of bounds. This is going to be interesting. What's the definition of possession?

8/9/08 at 8:22 PM

No catch. Didn't have possession; as I expected.

8/9/08 at 8:24 PM

Touchdown! Ryan to Roddy 'White. He beat Rashean Mathis. Ryan is lookin' pretty good for a rookie in just his second series. In my opinion, Smitty made the right pick. Always take a franchise QB when you have the chance and the need.

8/9/08 at 8:27 PM

Mathis may not have been the villain on that coverage. Reggie Nelson may have blown the coverage. He may have over-the-top responsibility.

8/9/08 at 8:29 PM

Cleo Lemon is the QB. Greg Jones runs for a gain of eight.

8/9/08 at 8:30 PM

Jones, again, straight ahead. He looks quick and light on his feet.

8/9/08 at 8:31 PM

Lemon completes two short passes for a first down.

8/9/08 at 8:33 PM

Greg Jones, again, up the middle for a first down. The first-team line is still in the game and they are having their way with the Falcons' defensive front.

8/9/08 at 8:35 PM

Lemon to Walker for a first down at the Falcons 20.

8/9/08 at 8:36 PM

Another drop by Walker. He would've scored. This isn't like him. He needs to relax.

8/9/08 at 8:38 PM

Josh Scobee is on for a field goal attempt of 37 yards. It's good.

8/9/08 at 8:43 PM

Great play by Groves. He took down the ball-carrier in space for a loss of four yards. That's the kind of athlete he is. He can make that kind of play.

8/9/08 at 8:43 PM

Ryan throws for a first down on third down. He's lookin' better and better.

8/9/08 at 8:45 PM

Wow! Zing! Ryan to Jenkins. I didn't think the kid had that kind of arm.

8/9/08 at 8:46 PM

We're at the two-minute warning. If there's one thing that's apparent tonight, it's that Ryan is going to be the Falcons' starter on opening day. He's the man, for now and the future.

8/9/08 at 8:48 PM

Tony McDaniel looks powerful in the middle. Justin Durant nearly made a sensational hit. McDaniel and Durant will stand out whent the coaches watch the tape of this game.

8/9/08 at 8:49 PM

Brian Witherspoon broke up a pass. That'll help his cause.

8/9/08 at 8:50 PM

Kenny Pettway gets a sack. The Falcons have to punt with 1:14 to play.

8/9/08 at 8:51 PM

Witherspoon fumbled the punt. The Falcons have it at the Jaguars' 34. Witherspoon was close to breaking into the clear.

8/9/08 at 8:52 PM

Ryan knows where to go with the ball. He's decisive but he's not the most accurate passer.

8/9/08 at 8:53 PM

There's a nice battle going on between two rookies: Groves and Sam Baker. Baker has done a nice job.

8/9/08 at 8:55 PM

The field goal try failed. There are 43 seconds to play in the half. The number two offensive line is in the game for the Jags.

8/9/08 at 9:00 PM

Garrard was four of 10 for 44 yards and a 53.8 passer rating. Greg Jones leads the Jaguars with 39 yards rushing. Matt Jones has three catches for 37 yards.

8/9/08 at 9:02 PM

Ryan ended the half nine of 15 for 113 yards, one touchdown and a 105.7 passer rating. Roddy White caught five passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.

8/9/08 at 9:16 PM

Nice return by Witherspoon. His speed is distinct. The Jags think he has big-time return ability. He's been impressive twice tonight.

8/9/08 at 9:18 PM

Pass interference on the Falcons puts the ball on the Falcons' 29-yard line. Lemon is still at QB.

8/9/08 at 9:22 PM

The number two line is doing a nice job. Chauncey Washington shows some quickness.

8/9/08 at 9:23 PM

Touchdown! Washington up the middle. Uche Nwaneri paved the way.

8/9/08 at 9:28 PM

Joey Harrington is at QB for the Falcons. The Jaguars defense is deep into their reserves.

8/9/08 at 9:31 PM

Harrington has just been sacked by Mkristo Bruce. That does it. Harrington has now been sacked by every man to have ever worn a football uniform.

8/9/08 at 9:34 PM

Todd Bouman is at QB. I think this would be a great time to practice the running game.

8/9/08 at 9:35 PM

Bouman to Washington to Lofton. Yeah, he fumbled. Falcons have it at the Jags' 24. They should've run the ball.

8/9/08 at 9:38 PM

The Falcons kicked a field goal. Harrington is really wild with his throws.

8/9/08 at 9:43 PM

The action is beginning to deteriorate.

8/9/08 at 9:45 PM

If the Jaguars' threes don't play a little better, the Falcons may win this game. The Falcons have the ball at the Jaguars' 43.

8/9/08 at 9:47 PM

Jamaal Fudge made a nice tackle. Fudge has had an impressive training camp.

8/9/08 at 9:49 PM

Running back Jason Snelling caught a short pass and ran through the whole defense. The ball is at the Jaguars three-yard line.

8/9/08 at 9:51 PM

Holding on the defense. It was Jesse Mahelona. They just signed him. He has a very low center of gravity. By the way, Harrington just scored. The game is tied with 1:06 to play.

8/9/08 at 9:54 PM

Smolko saves the day. First down. Why did they cut this guy? All he does is make plays. Smolko, Smolko, Smolko.

8/9/08 at 9:55 PM

That's the end of the third quarter. I don't know if that's good news or bad news.

8/9/08 at 9:58 PM

Bouman to Charles Davis. He's done OK tonight. He's got some upside.

8/9/08 at 9:59 PM

Bouman is doing a nice job on this drive. He has the Jaguars in the red zone.

8/9/08 at 10:03 PM

Field goal time. It's a chip shot. Good! Jags lead, 20-17, with 9:22 to play.

8/9/08 at 10:07 PM

Tickets distributed: 63,914.

8/9/08 at 10:07 PM

D.J. Shockley is at QB. I think we're going to see some scrambling.

8/9/08 at 10:10 PM

Fudge broke up the third-down pass. He's an aggressive player. I like him.

8/9/08 at 10:12 PM

Witherspoon makes a big punt-return. He nearly ran out of his shoes. When he gets his feet moving, there's no telling where he's going to end up.

8/9/08 at 10:13 PM

Lavarus Giles fumbles and the Falcons have it at their 26-yard line. There is 7:26 to play.

8/9/08 at 10:16 PM

The Falcons are moving. They're in Jaguars territory. Oh, goody. Maybe we've go into overtime.

8/9/08 at 10:17 PM

Now they're at the 33.

8/9/08 at 10:20 PM

Here comes the field goal team. It's gonna be a long one; 54 yards by Jason Elam. It's short. I'm out of here.

8/9/08 at 10:28 PM

Hey, I made it downstairs to my office in time to finish up the blog. We're at the two-minute warning and the Falcons have the ball.

8/9/08 at 10:31 PM

Shockley converts on third down and the Falcons are in Jaguars territory.

8/9/08 at 10:34 PM

Big play. Shockley to wide receiver Chandler Williams to the Jags 21.

8/9/08 at 10:35 PM

Mkristo Bruce is not just a guy. He can play. He may have played himself into roster contention.

8/9/08 at 10:36 PM

Fourth and 11. I'll bet Smitty goes for it. He is.

8/9/08 at 10:37 PM

Shockley scrambles for a first down at the Jaguars' six-yard line. Smitty wasn't going to make these guys play overtime.

8/9/08 at 10:38 PM

There are 20 secons to play.

8/9/08 at 10:40 PM

Intercepted by Pierson Prioleau. Jags win.

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