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Gallery: Atlanta Falcons beat mistake-prone Broncos 27-21


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The only other time Manning was picked off three times in the opening quarter was with the Colts in a 2007 game at San Diego. The Broncos, in fact, had turnovers on four on their first five possessions.

On the third play from scrimmage, Manning threw into triple coverage looking to connect with Jacob Tamme. Instead, Moore stepped in front of the tight end for the interception and ran down the sideline 33 yards before he was tackled at the 1. Turner took it in from there.

At a glance

Game notes

Manning’s career record in Monday night games dropped to 11-4.

Atlanta had another tough game running the ball. Turner totaled only 42 yards on 17 carries — and 15 of those came on his final run.

Samuel was able to get back on the field, but CB Chris Owens went out with a head injury and didn’t return. That further depleted the depth in the secondary, which lost Brent Grimes to a season-ending injury in Week 1.

Thomas, who played at nearby Georgia Tech, finished with eight catches for 78 yards.

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The Broncos ran two plays before Manning faked a play-action handoff and threw down the right seam to Eric Decker. This time, DeCoud picked him off and brought it back 15 yards. After Julio Jones dropped what would have been a touchdown pass from Ryan in the left corner of the end zone, Bryant followed with a 37-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

Manning’s third pick went to Robert McClain, a reserve cornerback who was taking his first snap because Asante Samuel injured his neck on the previous play.

On Sunday, Manning’s younger brother, Eli, threw three interceptions in the first half. But he rallied the New York Giants to a 41-34 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

No such luck for big brother.

On the next-to-last snap of the first quarter, Atlanta linebacker Stephen Nicholas forced a fumble by Knowshon Moreno near the Denver sideline and Sean Weatherspoon recovered for Atlanta. The Falcons ran 10 plays before Bryant kicked a 42-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead.

Then, it was Ryan finding Gonzalez all alone in the back of the end zone. The tight end who has caught the second-most passes in NFL history was freed up by his quarterback’s nifty play fake that made it 20-0, punctuated by Gonzalez’s dunk over the goal posts.

The Broncos finally got on the board with 6 seconds left in the half, though it took the replacement officials a second look to get it right. They initially ruled Thomas had been pushed out of bounds without getting both feet down. The replay clearly showed otherwise. Broncos coach John Fox challenged the call and it was reversed.

Another time, the replacements had to huddle just to make sure they knew where to place the ball after a defensive holding penalty on Denver’s Champ Bailey, drawing boos from the crowd as the game dragged on for nearly 3½ hours.


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The Falcons snapped a six-game losing streak on Mondays, including 0-3 under coach Mike Smith. Their last Monday win came over New Orleans on Dec. 12, 2005.

"It was a big game," White said. "We wanted to come out here and win one of these games and prove to everybody that we’re a good football team."



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