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(Sunday, November 8th)
Final Score: Atlanta 31, Washington 17
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Michael Turner recorded two lengthy touchdown runs, as the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Washington Redskins, 31-17, at the Georgia Dome.
Matt Ryan completed 17-of-24 passes for 135 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Falcons (5-3), who had lost consecutive road games to Dallas and New Orleans. Turner finished with 166 yards on 18 carries in the win.
A bruised and battered Jason Campbell threw a touchdown pass for Washington (2-6), but also had his lone interception returned for a score by Falcons cornerback Tye Hill. Campbell, who totaled 196 yards on 15-of-22 passing, was sacked five times on the day and left the game briefly twice after being shaken up.
Ladell Betts, filling in for Clinton Portis after he suffered a mild concussion in the first quarter, had 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the loss -- Washington's fourth straight.
Atlanta got the ball to start the game and Ryan guided the Falcons on a 10- play, 74-yard drive that culminated in a two-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzalez.
The second-year quarterback out of Boston College was intercepted on Atlanta's next series, but the Falcons defense quickly returned the favor as Hill picked off Campbell and followed a convoy of blockers en route to the end zone for a 62-yard touchdown with 2:47 to play in the opening quarter.
On the prior play, Portis was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Atlanta safety Thomas DeCoud. He did not return.
Shaun Suisham's 48-yard field goal put Washington on the board with 5:56 remaining in the second quarter. The Falcons answered a little over two minutes later on a 30-yard dash by Turner, and Jason Elam drilled a 33-yard field goal at the end of the half to make it 24-3.
Campbell, who exited late in the second quarter with a chest contusion after he was sacked for the fifth time, led the Redskins on a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive to begin the third. Betts' one-yard plunge up the middle capped the long march.
"I think in the second half, you saw our run game take off," said Washington head coach Jim Zorn. "I think that is what really sparked us. When the run game started to be effective, the mix of the passes was good."
Washington orchestrated another extended drive that carried over into the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 24-17. Todd Yoder's three-yard reception in the corner of the end zone, which a video review confirmed, finished off another 13-play jaunt that covered 81 yards.
All the momentum was quashed when Turner broke free for a 58-yard touchdown with 11:23 remaining in the game.
Campbell, though, suffered an ankle injury on the first play of the ensuing drive. He was hurt when tackled from behind by Jonathan Babineaux. Todd Collins replaced Campbell for the remainder of the drive, which stalled at the Atlanta 44 after Collins' pass fell incomplete on fourth down.
Campbell returned to the game on the next series, but Washington couldn't advance the ball. The Falcons then ran out the remaining 2:27.
"I thought in the first half of the game, we were in complete control of that football game," said Atlanta head coach Mike Smith. "Like in any NFL game, they're going to fight, come out and play hard, and that's what the Washington Redskins did. In the third quarter I thought that they made a good run at us, but we were able to be very resilient through the entire 60 minutes."
Ryan improved 11-1 in his career at home...Gonzalez caught five passes for 41 yards...The Redskins have lost seven straight on the road...Santana Moss had 47 yards on five receptions for Washington...Atlanta plays at Carolina next Sunday, while the Redskins host Denver.
11/08 18:07:57 ET