The Falcons jumped out to an early 14-0 lead over the Ravens with their starters on the field, but Atlanta’s reserves couldn’t protect the lead and Atlanta ultimately lost 31-17 on Thursday night. Atlanta also suffered potentially significant injuries to MLB Akeem Dent (concussion) and FB Bradie Ewing (knee).

Three players who helped their causeRobert James

  • Robert James, LB: James spent the majority of last season on the Falcons’ practice squad but has been practicing with the second team throughout the preseason. He made five tackles Thursday night against the Ravens, including one of the team’s three sacks.
  • Dominique Franks, CB/PR: Franks finished last season on a strong note with two interceptions in Atlanta’s final three games, and it carried over into Thursday night’s preseason opener vs. the Ravens. Aside from registering four tackles on defense, Franks returned one first-quarter punt for 45 yards and further solidified his position as the backup punt returner to receiver Harry Douglas.Jacquizz Rodgers
  • Jacquizz Rodgers, RB: New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter wasted no time experimenting with Rodgers, who was under utilized last season in the Falcons offense. Rodgers rushed nine times for 33 yards and a touchdown. He was the de-facto second-string running back with Jason Snelling missing Thursday’s game.

Three players who hurt their cause

  • Dominique Davis, QB: Davis, battling for the third-string QB duties, had yet to complete a pass until late in the second half of Thursday’s game. He finished 6 of 11 for 53 yards and one interception.
  • Chris Redman, QB: Redman was listed as the second QB on Atlanta’s depth chart and he’ll probably remain that way until next week’s game vs. Cincinnati. However, Redman was just 1 of 6 for eight total yards in his limited time on the field Thursday night.
  • Dmitri Nance, RB: Nance was with the Falcons during the preseason of the 2010 season before the Packers picked him up and used the 5-10 back in their stretch run to a Super Bowl victory. Nance did himself no favors Thursday night; he rushed for just eight yards and also fumbled. The Falcons had four turnovers in total. 

Game Notes

  • MLB Akeem Dent suffered a concussion while on punt coverage and could miss significant time this preseason.
  • Rookie FB Bradie Ewing was carted off the field after a severe knee injury. He was slated as No. 2 on the depth chart behind Mike Cox
  • WR Harry Douglas missed Thursday’s game because he sustained a rib injury during Monday’s practice in Dalton, Georgia. He was replaced by Kerry Meier.

For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSSportsATLNFL.