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NFL Preseason, Patriots At Falcons: Another Early Test For New England

(Sports Network) - A couple of teams looking to maintain their positive preseason momentum will meet at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night, when the Atlanta Falcons play host to the New England Patriots in the second August warm-up for each club.

The homestanding Falcons were 20-10 winners over the Kansas City Chiefs last Friday, although the Atlanta offense played to mixed reviews.

Matt Ryan was 3-of-6 passing for 34 yards in limited action, and running back Michael Turner (4 rushes, 29 yards) and wideout Roddy White (1 reception, 22 yards) made the most of their cameos, but the Falcons scored only three first- half points in the contest.

With Atlanta's first unit pegged for just 18-20 snaps against the Patriots, the window for the starters to score will again be short.

On the injury front for Atlanta, defensive end Jamaal Anderson (knee) and cornerback Brent Grimes (groin) are among the questionable notables for Thursday, while safety William Moore (undisclosed), cornerbacks Brian Williams (knee) and Dunta Robinson (hamstring), and defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee) are all unlikely to play.

Atlanta will be playing at the Georgia Dome for the final time until Week 2 of the NFL season (Sept. 19th), when the Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals in the team's formal 2010 home opener.

The Patriots, meanwhile, will be seeking to build on a 27-24 win over the New Orleans Saints last Thursday night.

Tom Brady was 5-of-8 for 67 yards without a touchdown or turnover in the victory, but made bigger headlines by injuring two fingers on his throwing hand after striking them on a helmet in the game. Brady subsequently had the fingers taped in practice, but has not missed any training camp time and is expected to play on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the injury department, wide receiver Wes Welker (knee) has made the trip to Atlanta but his status for Thursday will be unknown until game time. One player who won't appear for New England is Torry Holt (knee), who was released as part of an injury settlement earlier this week.

The Falcons lead the all-time preseason series with the Patriots, 6-5, breaking a deadlock in the series with a 26-23 home victory in the last such meeting, prior to the 2006 season.

The teams last met in Week 3 of the 2009 regular season, a 26-10 New England home victory.

By Tony Moss, NFL Editor