Atlanta Falcons vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

ATL
13
PIT
17
FINAL
1234T
ATL 760013
PIT 037717

Game Information
Location: Heinz Field Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 48,809

PITTSBURGH (AP) James Conner overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma and a serious right knee injury to reach the NFL. He showed in his Pittsburgh Steelers debut Sunday that he plans to stick around for a while.

The rookie running back from the University of Pittsburgh broke off runs of 17 and 19 yards, leading to Bart Houston's go-ahead, 6-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 17-13 exhibition victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Conner was greeted with an ovation on the third series of the game when he made his first carry. The third-round pick busted off three other runs longer than 10 yards and had 98 yards rushing on 20 carries.

"With all the runs, I was getting more comfortable," Conner said. "We kept ripping off big ones."

Matt Ryan led the Falcons to a touchdown in his only series and finished 4 of 6 for 57 yards. In two series during the preseason, Ryan, the 2016 NFL's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, has gone 6 of 8 for 88 yards with a touchdown and a 123.6 passer rating.

Pittsburgh receiver Martavis Bryant played his first game more than 18 months.

The NFL suspended Bryant in March 2016 for a second violation of its substance abuse policy. He also opened the 2015 season with a four-game suspension because of multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Bryant, who is still in the process of being fully reinstated by the league, remains suspended, but is permitted to participate in all preseason activities - including practices and games.

Steelers rookie Josh Dobbs targeted Bryant on the first play of the game, but the offense sputtered with consecutive three-and-outs. Dobbs, a fourth-round pick, was 10 of 19 for 70 yards with an interception.

Bryant, who had two catches for 20 yards, later fumbled an end-around, but made up for it with a 23-yard reception on a drive that ended with a field goal.

Tevin Coleman got the start at running back for the Falcons with Devonta Freeman previously ruled out with a concussion. But the Falcons' primary backfield focus was the competition for the third running back spot.

Terron Ward, who ran for 48 yards against Miami, was strong again Sunday. He finished with nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Ward ran for 151 yards in five games last season.

Fifth-round pick Brian Hill rushed for 14 yards on seven carries. The former Wyoming product player also struggled in the team's first preseason game against Miami, gaining 10 yards on nine carries.

Falcons first-round pick Takkarist McKinley made his NFL debut.

The defensive end had surgery for a torn labrum and fractured right shoulder socket in March and was held out of the preseason opener. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound McKinley had 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss as a college senior last season at UCLA. He is expected to add punch to a pass rush that features Vic Beasley, who led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2016.

"He hasn't played since November," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "For him, it was a long time to get back on the field. We are encouraged by his first time back and I know he was excited to get going."

WIDE OUTS OUT

Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Atlanta's Julio Jones, two of the top receivers in the NFL, sat out Sunday.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin held out Brown for the second straight preseason game. Brown finished second in the league in receptions (106) and touchdowns (12) and fifth with 1,284 yards in 2016.

Jones was held out for the second straight preseason game following offseason foot surgery. Jones, who has reported no problems in his recovery, has been limited in training camp. The two-time All-Pro caught 136 passes in 2015, second-most in NFL history, and finished with 1,409 receiving yards last season.

ALSO MISSING

Freeman (concussion) was previously ruled out in what Quinn described as a precaution. Quinn previously said the injury is not expected to be a long-term issue. Freeman, the league's highest-paid running back, has rushed for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the Falcon's first preseason game.

Tomlin held out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out for the second straight preseason game. Backup Landry Jones also sat out with an abdominal injury.

BIG PLAYS

Pittsburgh's Trey Williams returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo had two sacks. Pittsburgh's Jordan Dangerfield picked off two passes, while Quincy Mauger and Akeem King had interceptions for the Falcons.

INJURY REPORT

Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave left in the first quarter with a concussion, and linebacker Steven Johnson sustained a hamstring injury.

QUOTABLE

Bryant on his return: "I don't feel like anything changed. As far as the game speed, it's still the same. I'm just happy after last year to be out there."

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host hosts Indianapolis on Saturday night.

Steelers: Host Arizona on Saturday night.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Steelers
08:44 Terron Ward 5 yd run (Matt Bryant kick) 7 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Steelers
14:45 Matt Bryant 23 yd FG 10 0
10:23 Chris Boswell 42 yd FG 10 3
03:33 Matt Bryant 26 yd FG 13 3

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Steelers
04:06 Trey Williams 64 yd punt return (Chris Boswell kick) 13 10

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Steelers
06:35 Justin Hunter 6 yd pass from Bart Houston (Chris Boswell kick) 13 17

Team Stats
  Atlanta Pittsburgh
1st Downs 20 11
Total Yards 318 189
Passing 255 90
Passing Completions/Attempts 22-44 15-28
Yards/Pass 5.3 3.1
Rushing 63 99
Rushing Attempts 23 26
Yards/Rush 2.7 3.8
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Interceptions Thrown 2 2
Possession 33:01 26:59

Atlanta Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Matt Simms 15 29 197 6.8 0 1
Matt Ryan 4 6 57 9.5 0 0
Alek Torgersen 2 8 25 3.1 0 1
Matt Schaub 1 1 10 10.0 0 0

Pittsburgh Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Joshua Dobbs 10 19 70 3.7 0 1
Bart Houston 5 9 24 2.7 1 1

Atlanta Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Terron Ward 9 37 4.1 1 16
Brian Hill 7 14 2.0 0 4
Matt Simms 2 11 5.5 0 6
Kelvin Taylor 3 3 1.0 0 6
Tevin Coleman 2 -2 -1.0 0 -1

Pittsburgh Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
James Conner 20 98 4.9 0 19
Fitzgerald Toussaint 2 6 3.0 0 4
Martavis Bryant 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1
Bart Houston 3 -4 -1.3 0 0

Atlanta Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Reggie Davis 3 74 24.7 0 44
Nick Williams 3 38 12.7 0 22
Marvin Hall 2 34 17.0 0 18
Anthony Dable 2 26 13.0 0 15
Mohamed Sanu 2 25 12.5 0 13
Austin Hooper 2 24 12.0 0 14
Bra'Lon Cherry 1 17 17.0 0 17
Darion Griswold 1 15 15.0 0 15
Deante Burton 2 13 6.5 0 9
Eric Saubert 1 8 8.0 0 8
Reginald Davis III 1 8 8.0 0 8
Joshua Perkins 1 5 5.0 0 5
Terron Ward 1 2 2.0 0 2

Pittsburgh Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Sammie Coates 3 20 6.7 0 8
Martavis Bryant 2 20 10.0 0 23
Justin Hunter 3 16 5.3 1 9
David Johnson 1 15 15.0 0 15
Jesse James 2 8 4.0 0 6
Fitzgerald Toussaint 1 8 8.0 0 8
Marcus Tucker 1 3 3.0 0 3
James Conner 1 3 3.0 0 3
Eli Rogers 1 1 1.0 0 1

Atlanta Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Kemal Ishmael 4 0 0 0
Josh Keyes 4 0 0 0
JT Jones 3 0 0 0
Damontae Kazee 3 0 0 0
Chris Odom 2 0 1 4
C.J. Goodwin 2 0 0 0
Quincy Mauger 2 0 0 0
Duke Riley 2 2 0 0
Blidi Wreh-Wilson 2 0 0 0
Marcelis Branch 1 2 0 0
De'Vondre Campbell 1 0 0 0
Ra'Shede Hageman 1 0 0 0
Jarnor Jones 1 0 0 0
Jack Lynn 1 0 0 0
Jordan Moore 1 0 0 0
Keanu Neal 1 0 0 0
Brian Poole 1 0 0 0
Courtney Upshaw 1 0 0 0
Joe Vellano 1 0 0 0
Deron Washington 1 1 0 0
Robert Alford 0 1 0 0
Vic Beasley Jr. 0 1 0 0
Deante Burton 0 0 0 0
Cornelius Edison 0 0 0 0
Josh Harris 0 0 0 0
Grady Jarrett 0 1 0 0
Akeem King 0 0 0 0
Sharrod Neasman 0 2 0 0
Deji Olatoye 0 1 0 0
Jhurell Pressley 0 0 0 0
LaRoy Reynolds 0 0 0 0
Tani Tupou 0 1 0 0

Pittsburgh Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Anthony Chickillo 4 0 2 19
Sean Davis 3 2 0 0
L.J. Fort 3 2 0 0
Vince Williams 3 2 0 0
Farrington Huguenin 2 0 1 6
Tyson Alualu 2 0 0 0
Ross Cockrell 2 1 0 0
Jordan Dangerfield 2 0 0 0
Robert Golden 2 2 0 0
Stephon Tuitt 2 1 0 0
T.J. Watt 2 2 0 0
Roy Philon 1 0 1 9
Artie Burns 1 0 0 0
Greg Ducre 1 0 0 0
Matt Galambos 1 0 0 0
William Gay 1 0 0 0
Malik Golden 1 0 0 0
Javon Hargrave 1 0 0 0
Cameron Heyward 1 0 0 0
Mike Hilton 1 0 0 0
Steven Johnson 1 0 0 0
Tyler Matakevich 1 3 0 0
Coty Sensabaugh 1 1 0 0
L.T. Walton 1 1 0 0
Knile Davis 0 0 0 0
Brandon Dixon 0 0 0 0
Johnny Maxey 0 1 0 0
Jake McGee 0 0 0 0
Fitzgerald Toussaint 0 0 0 0
Terrish Webb 0 0 0 0

Atlanta Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Akeem King 1 0 0
Quincy Mauger 1 0 0

Pittsburgh Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Jordan Dangerfield 2 19 0

Atlanta Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Reggie Davis 2 47 23.5 0 32
Andre Roberts 1 11 11.0 0 11

Pittsburgh Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Knile Davis 2 33 16.5 0 17
Fitzgerald Toussaint 1 24 24.0 0 24

Atlanta Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Nick Williams 2 5 2.5 0 5

Pittsburgh Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Trey Williams 3 77 25.7 1 64

Atlanta Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Matt Bryant 2 2 100.0 26

Pittsburgh Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Chris Boswell 1 1 100.0 42

Atlanta Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Matt Bosher 7 318 56

Pittsburgh Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Jordan Berry 8 318 55