Atlanta Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas (54) is stiff armed by Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) in the first half at the Georgia Dome. (Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE)
ATLANTA -- Joe Flacco threw for 88 yards and a touchdown and backup Curtis Painter tossed three second-half scores as the Baltimore Ravens downed the Atlanta Falcons, 31-17, in preseason action.
Flacco completed 9-of-12 passes and fired a nine-yard touchdown strike to Ed Dickson midway through the second quarter.
Fresh off his new five-year deal, Ray Rice carried the ball just three times for four yards for Baltimore, which went 12-4 a year ago and lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Matt Ryan passed for 155 yards with a touchdown and interception on 9-of-13 efficiency. All nine of his completions went to Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Jones caught six passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while White hauled in three balls for 46 yards for the Falcons, who lost to the New York Giants in last year's wild-card round.
Falcons starting linebacker Akeem Dent left the game in the second quarter with a head injury after colliding helmets with a defender on a punt. He left the field under his own power.
The Falcons established a 14-0 advantage early in the second quarter and led 17-7 at the break, but the Ravens scored the final 24 points of the contest.
Painter found Billy Bajema for the tying score midway through the third stanza, and then found Deonte Thompson for a 22-yard touchdown in the latter stages of the frame to give Baltimore a 24-17 advantage.
Bobby Rainey hauled in an 18-yard TD pass from Painter early in the fourth to conclude the scoring.
Earlier, Ryan connected with Jones for a seven-yard score and Jacquizz Rodgers' two-yard touchdown scamper gave Atlanta its 14-0 lead early in the second.
Flacco answered when he found Dickson, but Matt Bryant's 31-yard field goal as the first half expired gave Atlanta its 17-7 halftime edge.
(The Sports Network)