In the first quarter the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos turned the ball over four times, and although the team was able to avoid turnovers in the remaining three quarters, the damage had already been done as the Falcons jumped out to a 20-0 lead.
While Manning led the Broncos on a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to bring them within a score, the Falcons managed to hold off Denver and earn a 27-21 victory.
In his first eight passes on Monday night, Manning threw three interceptions before a Willis McGahee fumble led to a fourth turnover in the waning seconds of the first quarter. The turnovers led to 13 Falcons points and a Tony Gonzalez touchdown with under five minutes remaining in the second quarter expanded the Atlanta lead to 20.
The Broncos stopped the bleeding some with a 17-yard Manning touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas just before halftime, but a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Roddy White early in the third quarter expanded the lead back to 20.
In the fourth quarter, Manning led a comeback with two drives that ended in two 2-yard Willis McGahee touchdowns, but the Broncos' defense was unable to stop two first downs on the final drive of the game and the Falcons were able to kneel out the clock.
Manning finished the game 21-of-32 passing for 200 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. McGahee eclipsed 100 yards with 113 yards on 22 carries including two touchdowns. However, it was Ryan and White that stole the show, connecting eight times for 102 yards. Ryan finished 24-of-36 passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-0 as they continue to hold the sole spot atop the NFC South standings while the loss drops the Broncos to 1-1 and in second in the AFC West standings. Atlanta will next travel to San Diego to face the Chargers at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday, and the Broncos will host the Houston Texans on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
For more on this game, please be sure to check out our blogs Mile High Report and The Falcoholic along with SB Nation Denver, SB Nation Atlanta, our Football Hub and SB Nation for all the latest news and updates.