NFL 2012 Week 1, Falcons Vs. Chiefs: Atlanta Takes Season Opener, 40-24

Atlanta rode a hot Matt Ryan to a 40-24 victory over the Chiefs in the season opener.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs 2012: Atlanta's Offensive Line Impresses In Win

The Atlanta Falcons were very impressive in defeating Kansas City 40-24 on Sunday, which made for plenty of positive takeaways. SB Nation's The Falcoholic liked the performance the team got from the offensive line:

The offensive line was very impressive to me. They kept Matt Ryan clean for the bulk of the game and the only hate that was thrown at them was for a whiff that Clabo had during the game. Otherwise, they did a good job in pass blocking. They did well at times in run blocking, but I'd rather them keep Matt Ryan clean rather than have Turner breaking big runs.

Related: Brent Grimes Out For The Season

With his offensive line giving him ample time, quarterback Matt Ryan was able to pick apart Kansas City's defense. Ryan finished the day 23-31 for 299 yards and three passing touchdowns. The Falcons scored at least 10 points in three of four quarters, and the Chiefs simply were not able to keep up.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs: Matt Ryan Pleased With Offense

Led by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons' offense put up 40 points in a win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Afterward, Ryan spoke about the offense's performance in the team's big road victory:

"I think we wanted to start fast and we wanted to score touchdowns and we did a pretty good job of that. We set up for a couple of field goals, we know we left a couple of plays out there we probably could have made, but all in all points are good in this league. Any time you get the ball and you can score points that's good. So offensively I think it was a pretty good start."

Related: Falcons Vs. Chiefs Final Score: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones Light Up Field In 40-24 Victory

Ryan finished the day 23-for-31 for 299 yards and four total touchdowns. The Falcons were up just a field goal at halftime, but behind Ryan, Atlanta kept the points coming. Julio Jones caught two touchdowns in the game and Tony Gonzalez accounted for one score in his return to Kansas City.

Atlanta hosts the Broncos in Week 2.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Brent Grimes Injury: Falcons Cornerback Left Sunday's Game With Calf Injury

Brent Grimes was hurt in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs: Tony Gonzalez Enjoys Homecoming In Kansas City

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez received a warm reception from Chiefs fans prior to the start of Sunday's game. He started to hear some boos once the game got underway, but he nonetheless enjoyed the trip:

"It's just been a good homecoming for me," Gonzalez said. "It was great to see all of the fans out there. I saw all of the signs out there and I just want to tell the fans that I love you very much. I thanked them for making this day very special."

Related: Falcons Crush Chiefs In Opener: A Postgame Thread

Gonzalez spent 12 seasons in Kansas City, where he made 10 trips to the Pro Bowl and was a first team All-Pro on five occasions. He had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons for the Chiefs and twice crossed the 1,200-yard barrier. He moved on to Atlanta following the 2008 season.

Gonzalez caught five passes for 53 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's game.

For more updates on the game Falcons fans should stay right here at SB Nation Atlanta. For more analysis, visit The Falcoholic, and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride; for more news and notes from around the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs Final Score: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones Light Up Field In 40-24 Victory

The first half of this game was a close contest, with both offenses moving the ball with ease.

But in the second half, this game was all Falcons. Mike Nolan and his defense made some fantastic second-half adjustments, forcing three Matt Cassel turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble) as they held the Chiefs to seven points after the halfway point in this game.

While the running game was noticeably absent from the offensive success- Michael Turner was held to 32 yards on 11 carries- Matt Ryan was on fire. He finished the day 23-of-31 passing for 299 yards through the air and four touchdowns (three passing, one running).

Julio Jones and Roddy White both had big games as well. They combined for 12 catches and 195 yards receiving in the season opener, including two TD snags made by Jones.

Overall, this was a real muscle-flexer for the Falcons. They looked really impressive against a quality Chiefs squad, and should continue to impress next week as they head home to face the Broncos on Monday Night Football.

For more updates on the game Falcons fans should stay right here at SB Nation Atlanta. For more analysis, visit The Falcoholic, and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride; for more news and notes from around the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs Update: Two Cassel Interceptions Allow Atlanta To Pull Away 40-17

Matt Cassel lead his offense on a long drive into Falcons territory to open the half, but a missed 40-yard field goal spelled doom for the Chiefs.

The Falcons would respond to that miss with a nine play, 70-yard scoring drive, including two Matt Ryan passes to Julio Jones for 50 yards. That drive would be capped off by a 5-yard scramble by our own quarterback.

A strip-sack by John Abraham on the ensuing possession, recovered by Stephen Nicholas deep in Chiefs territory, would lead to yet another score, this one a seven-yard TD pass to longtime Chief Tony Gonzalez, making the score 34-17 Falcons.

The offensive struggles would only continue to worsen for Kansas City after that. A wobbly pass by Cassel would be picked off by William Moore, leading to a field goal. On the next drive, Stephen Nicholas would intercept another ill-advised Cassel pass, leading to another Matt Bryant field goal. He is four-of-four kicking on the day.

I'm not sure what else there is to say, other than the Falcons defense made some great adjustments at the half and almost everything that could go write has gone right for Atlanta since the thirty-minute mark.

For more updates on the game Falcons fans should stay right here at SB Nation Atlanta. For more analysis, visit The Falcoholic, and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride; for more news and notes from around the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs Halftime Score: Atlanta Leading 20-17 In KC Shootout

The second quarter generally went the way of the first in this matchup: both the Falcons and Chiefs offenses played well, and both defenses played like hot garbage.

After leading the Chiefs on a nine-play, 76-yard scoring drive early in the quarter, Matt Cassel continued to pick Atlanta's defense apart on second and third down.

And after giving up a 46-yard breakaway run to Jamaal Charles, the Falcons allowed Cassel to carry it in himself on a five-yard TD scramble. As was the case in the first quarter, the defensive line has generated almost no pressure, allowing Cassel all the time in the world he need to throw.

The offense, on the other hand, was as good as ever. Matt Ryan hooked up with Julio Jones on another touchdown pass, this one a screen play from 14 yards outs, and is 17-of-22 for 203 yards and two scores on the day. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez have contributed to the air show as well, hauling in five and four catches respectively.

But on third and goal from the three, the Chiefs defense held up and the Falcons settled for another red zone field goal, making the score 20-17 at the half.

The Falcons defense will need to get their act together, or else this game will stay the shootout that it's been.

For more updates on the game Falcons fans should stay right here at SB Nation Atlanta. For more analysis, visit The Falcoholic, and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride; for more news and notes from around the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs Update: Atlanta Tied 10-10, Matt Ryan Hits Julio Jones On TD Pass

UPDATE: Matt Cassel hits Kevin Boss on a 22-yard touchdown pass, capping off a nine play, 76-yard scoring drive.

The Atlanta Falcons are off to a hot start in their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Much has been made of the Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connection this offseason, and that duo was certainly working on the opening drive of the ball game.

Ryan was six-of-eight passing for 68 yards and a score. Three of those passes and 44 yards of offense went to Jones, who caught an eight-yard touchdown pass to put the Falcons up 7-0 early.

On defense, Mike Nolan's group failed to get a good pass rush going. A couple of holes in Falcons the secondary allowed Matt Cassel to hit Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki on a couple of long passes, driving the Chiefs down to the Atlanta 22-yard line.

But a cleverly designed delay blitz allowed Sean Weatherspoon to come in untouched on third down, forcing Cassel to dump it off short of the first down. The Chiefs would settle for a 39-yard Ryan Succop field goal.

On the following possession, Jacquizz Rodgers reeled off a brilliant kickoff return for 77 yards, setting the offense up deep in KC territory. But after a three-and-out, the Falcons were forced to settle for a field goal, a 34-yard attempt by Matt Bryant that held true.

For more updates on the game Falcons fans should stay right here at SB Nation Atlanta. For more analysis, visit The Falcoholic, and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride; for more news and notes from around the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Falcons Depth Chart: Konz Still Not Starting As Team Releases Week 1 Starters

As Sunday's season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs slowly but sure approaches, the Falcons--despite Mike Smith's unwillingness to give a "competitive advantage" to the other team--have released their week one depth chart.

The big surprise is that incumbent right guard Garrett Reynolds, who was benched halfway through the 2011 season after struggling in the starting role, has remained the starter over second-round draft pick Peter Konz.

While Konz failed to "wow" the coaching staff this preseason, Reynolds had his share of mistakes as well, particularly in pass protection. But at the same time, it is a safe move. As far as the immediate upcoming game is concerned, Konz doesn't represent a significant upgrade over Reynolds.

Still, it should only be a matter of time before the team opts to give the younger, less-seasoned Konz a chance to start.

As for cornerback, Asante Samuel is still listed behind Dunta Robinson, but with Mike Nolan expected to run the nickel package often this season (three CBs and two LBs), expect Samuel to see plenty of time on the field.

As far as the rest of the depth chart is concerned, the team has recent signee Luke McCown as the No. 2 QB, Jacquizz Rodgers as the kick returner, and Harry Douglas as the punt return man.

For more on this game Falcons fans should visit The Falcoholic and Chiefs fans should check out Arrowhead Pride. For more news and notes from around the NFL head over to SB Nation's NFL hub page.

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Mike Smith Playing Falcons' Depth Chart Close To The Chest

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith knows who will be starting at right guard and cornerback for the team's season-opening game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday, but he is not going to let anyone else know.

Garrett Reynolds is currently listed as the first-teamer at RG on the Falcons' official depth chart, with Peter Konz as the backup. Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes are listed as the corners, with Asante Samuel and Robert McClain backing them up.

The second-string QB position will also remain a mystery, as Smith said Monday he would not be announcing that either. Dominique Davis is currently listed in that position, but Luke McCown has been receiving plenty of work.

For more on the Falcons, head to The Falcoholic and stick with SB Nation Atlanta.

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Falcons Roster 2012: Tight End Depth A Cause For Concern

The Falcons should be looking at the backup tight-end position ahead of their season opener.

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Falcons Vs. Chiefs: Mike Nolan Says Defense A 'Work In Progress'

Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is pleased with what he's seen from the defense in the preseason, though he says the unit is not yet a finished product:

When it's new like this, it's always a work in progress. It still is right now because there are things that you practice, every team is this way, you practice things you haven't shown [in an exhibition game] and have only done in practice. I would say they have progressed pretty well. The guys have responded well to the things we have asked them to do, scheme-wise and technique-wise.

Related: Mike Nolan, International Coach Of Mystery

Nolan has his concerns about the defense -- though he gives no details -- but he likes the talent on that side of the ball and feels they have a chance to be good in 2012. They'll get their first test when the Falcons open the regular season against Kansas City on Sept. 9.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage of this game, visit Falcons blog The Falcoholic as well as Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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