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Rodgers tough but Ryan shines as Falcons beat Pack
By CHRIS JENKINS, AP Sports Writer
Oct 5, 2008 - 5:16:28 PM

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GREEN BAY, Wis. - Aaron Rodgers played hurt and played hard. But he was upstaged by Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan scramble out of the pocket for a 17-yard gain as Green Bay Packers' (27) Will Blackmon, (96) Michael Montgomery and (74) Aaron Kampman pursue during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, in Green Bay, Wis. The Falcons won 27-24. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Atlanta's rookie quarterback turned in another sharp performance, completing 16 of 26 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as the Falcons pounced on the banged-up Green Bay Packers for a 27-24 victory at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White caught eight passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Turner ran for 121 yards and a touchdown as the new-look Falcons (3-2) earned their first road win of the season.

It was the third straight loss for the Packers (2-3).

Rodgers started for the Packers despite a sprained shoulder that kept him out of practice for most of the week. He got better as the game went on, even as the signs that his shoulder was bothering him became more obvious.

Rodgers was 25-for-37 for 313 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, and nearly led the Packers to a late comeback.

With Green Bay trailing 17-7 late in the third quarter, Rodgers drove the Packers for a 50-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Rodgers winced and held his arm after several throws.

Then Ryan looked like a rookie for the first time all afternoon.

After driving the Falcons to the Packers 12, Ryan had tight end Ben Hartsock wide open in the end zone. But he threw a lollipop that was intercepted by Tramon Williams.

Rodgers hit tight end Tory Humphrey for 37 yards and later threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings to tie the game at 17.

But the Falcons answered with a 54-yard kickoff return by Jerious Norwood, leading to a 41-yard field goal by Jason Elam for a 20-17 lead.

The Packers tried to answer but were undone by mistakes, including an intentional grounding call on Rodgers under heavy pressure from defensive end John Abraham.

Rodgers then threw an interception to linebacker Michael Boley, who returned the ball to the Packers 19. Turner then scored on a 2-yard touchdown run.

Still, Rodgers recovered to drive the Packers to Atlanta's 4, then tossed an underhand pass to Donald Lee to cut the Falcons' lead to 27-24 with 1:56 left. But Atlanta recovered an onside-kick.

The Packers, who played shorthanded on defense — and it showed.

Lineman Cullen Jenkins is out for the season and cornerback Al Harris is out indefinitely with a spleen injury. Strong safety Atari Bigby was inactive because of a hamstring injury, and cornerback Charles Woodson continues to play with a broken toe.

Ryan quickly marched the Falcons downfield on their first possession. On fourth down, Ryan sold a play-action fake to Turner, then rolled to his right and threw a touchdown pass to Justin Peelle. Atlanta later added a 42-yard field goal by Elam.

The Packers didn't manage a first down until 12:14 of the second quarter, then put together their first drive of the game.

Facing third-and-1 at the Falcons 44, Rodgers reared back and threw a dart between two defenders for a touchdown to Donald Driver.

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