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17

NFL Preseason Preview - Tennessee (1-1) at Atlanta (1-1)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Falcons will play host to the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome in the all-important third preseason contest for both clubs.

Each team has split its first two exhibition contests with both winning their openers before coming back down to earth last week. Atlanta, however, lost far more than a game in its last encounter.

Falcons starting left tackle Sam Baker went down for the season during a 32-7 drubbing at the hands of the Houston Texans with a torn patellar tendon in his knee.

"Following his injury in the game, Sam underwent a number of tests and it was determined that he had suffered a torn patellar tendon and will miss the rest of the season," said Falcons coach Mike Smith. "Sam had worked extremely hard to get back on the field after missing most of last season, and he was having a good camp. I know he is disappointed, but I also know he is a very resilient football player and will do whatever he can to bounce back."

The Falcons had planned on starting first-round pick Jake Matthews at right tackle, but now the No. 6 overall pick will flip to the left side to replace Baker and Lamar Holmes will slide into the right tackle spot.

Sean Renfree took over for Atlanta starting quarterback Matt Ryan, who went just 3-of-7 for 37 yards, midway through the second quarter and connected with Devin Hester for a 12-yard touchdown to account for the Falcons' only score.

Renfree finished 7-for-10 for 49 yards while T.J. Yates, an ex-Texan, was in a giving mood against his former teammates, completing just 4-of-11 passes and throwing two interceptions.

The Titans, meanwhile, fell in New Orleans last week when Jimmy Graham caught a pair of touchdown passes from Luke McCown as the Saints defeated Tennessee 31-24.

Jake Locker completed 8-of-11 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown and Justin Hunter caught four balls for 111 yards and a pair of scores for the Titans. Shonn Greene gained 46 yards on nine attempts and second-round rookie Bishop Sankey accumulated 31 yards on the ground on six totes in defeat.

These two teams have split eight previous preseason matchups with Tennessee winning the last contest, 27- 16, at LP Field in Nashville last season.

08/22 12:20:34 ET