Falcons 24

(5-3, 2-3 away)

Raiders 0

(2-6, 1-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, November 2, 2008 Coliseum, Oakland, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 14 10 0 024
OAK 0 0 0 00

Top Performers

Passing: M. Ryan (ATL) - 220 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Turner (ATL) - 30 CAR, 139 YDS

Receiving: M. Jenkins (ATL) - 2 REC, 64 YDS, 2 TD

Raiders held to negative yardage in first half, fall flat vs. Falcons

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- With Michael Vick in prison and Bobby Petrino fleeing town early, the Atlanta Falcons dealt with more than their fair share of troubles last season.

Even so, they never quite sank as low as they sent the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Fast Facts

• How ugly was it in Oakland? Atlanta led 24-0, had a 20-0 edge in first downs and outgained the Raiders 309 to minus-2 ... at halftime! It was the first time since 1992 a team was held to negative yards in the first half (Colts were held to minus-5 yards in the first half on Nov. 1, 1992 at San Diego).

• The 77 total yards are the fewest by the Raiders since gaining 58 in 1961 against the Chargers, who had an assistant coach by the name of Al Davis on their sideline.

• The Falcons had more first downs passing (12) than Oakland had net yards passing (10).

• The Falcons had the ball for 45:15. The last time a team had that much time of possession in a regulation game was Sept. 12, 1999 when the Steelers held the ball for 47:49 at the Browns.

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

Matt Ryan threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes to Michael Jenkins and the Falcons held the Raiders to negative yards and no first downs in the first half and their lowest yards total in 47 years in a 24-0 victory.

"During the week, we look like we're a Super Bowl team, and we come out there and we're damn near the laughingstock of the league, and it's ridiculous," said Raiders safety Gibril Wilson, who came to Oakland from the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants in the offseason. "I've never been in a situation where it's been like this, and I don't know what it is. ...

"The people in this locker room have to look at themselves in the mirror and see exactly what they're bringing to the table, and if they're not bringing anything to the table, then get off the ship, period."

In a six-year stretch of losing, turmoil and new lows in Oakland, Al Davis' once-proud franchise might have reached a new nadir this week in front of a half-filled stadium of fans who began booing the Raiders (2-6) just minutes in.

Oakland finished with just 77 yards for its worst total since getting 58 in 1961 against the Chargers, when Davis was an assistant in San Diego. It's the lowest total in the NFL since Cleveland gained 26 on Dec. 12, 2004, against Buffalo. Oakland's three first downs were tied for the third fewest since the merger in 1970, with Cleveland twice being held to two in 1999 and 2000.

"Quite simply, we just did not do anything in terms of what we were trying to do offensively," interim coach Tom Cable said. "It was not a very good effort today by the Oakland Raiders."

The Falcons (5-3) scored on their first four possessions as Ryan had open receivers to pick from almost every time he dropped back, while Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood had big holes to run through.

Atlanta Oakland Video

Watch highlights from the Atlanta vs. Oakland game.

Atlanta also posted its first shutout since 2002, preserving it with an interception in the end zone by Erik Coleman midway through the fourth quarter. The Falcons set a record for fewest total yards allowed in a game, allowing one fewer than Tampa Bay got in a 17-0 loss in 1977.

"The defensive line did a great job stopping the run and keeping pressure on the quarterbacks to pass," Coleman said. "It really made our jobs easy back there in the secondary."

Ryan finished 17-of-22 for 220 yards, outplaying JaMarcus Russell in a matchup of the first quarterbacks taken in the past two drafts. Turner added 139 yards on 31 carries.

After suffering through the misery of 2007 that started with Vick's guilty plea to federal dogfighting charges and ended when Petrino fled town with three games remaining in his first season as coach is quickly becoming a distant memory.

Led by a rookie quarterback in Ryan and rookie coach Mike Smith, the Falcons have already surpassed last season's victory total by one at just the halfway point and are in the thick of the race in the NFC.

"Defensively, I thought it was outstanding today," Smith said. "It was a very dominating first half. I thought we were very efficient throughout."

Ryan beat former Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins to cap the first drive. The two beat Stanford Routt with a corner route for a 27-yard touchdown on the third drive. Norwood added a 12-yard touchdown run and Jason Elam kicked a 48-yard field goal for Atlanta's other first-half scores that made it 24-0.

"We came out and scored three touchdowns on our first three drives and got the field goal on the fourth," Ryan said. "We had a good rhythm and a good momentum. I thought we did a good job in the no-huddle today. Most of all, our defense kept them from really doing anything on offense today, so it was an impressive effort by everybody."

The Raiders finally got a stop in the final seconds of the half when Gerard Warren sacked Ryan and forced a fumble that was recovered at the Oakland 23 with 16 seconds remaining. But John Abraham brought down Russell with his third sack to end the half, leaving the Raiders with minus-2 yards of offense for the half compared to 309 for Atlanta.

Even attempts at trickery didn't work for the Raiders, who sent in receiver Ronald Curry at quarterback on the first play of their fourth drive. Before they could even run a play, Robert Gallery was called for a false start and Russell returned.

Justin Fargas' 13-yard run with 9:26 to play in the third quarter gave the Raiders their initial first down of the game and led to mock applause from the frustrated crowd. The boos quickly returned when Russell lost a fumble three plays later.

The loss was the third blowout in four games under Cable, whose only win came in overtime at home two weeks ago against the New York Jets.

Game notes

The Falcons shut out Carolina twice in the '02 season. ... Oakland was last shut out by St. Louis in 2006, one of three that season. ... Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski remained stuck on 859 career points, four shy of tying George Blanda's franchise scoring record.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs303
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays8234
Total Yards45377
Yards per play5.52.3
Total Drives1011
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-40-1
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

atlTD9:03Michael Jenkins 37 Yard Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 88 yds, 6:04
atlTD5:10Jerious Norwood 12 Yard Run (Jason Elam Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 70 yds, 2:50
atlTD13:00Michael Jenkins 27 Yard Pass From Matt Ryan (Jason Elam Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 88 yds, 5:31
atlFG6:35Jason Elam 48 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 42 yds, 5:02