ATLANTA — Sean Renfree threw a touchdown pass and led another scoring drive to overshadow the preseason debut of Rex Grossman as the Atlanta Falcons held off the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 on Thursday night in their final preseason game.
Renfree made the most of his final bid to open the season as Matt Ryan’s backup. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 75 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Carlton Mitchell.
The 35-year-old Grossman, who signed with Atlanta last week, was 4 of 9 for 41 yards.
Daniel Brown blocked Matt Bosher’s punt with 50 seconds remaining to give the Ravens the ball at the Atlanta 10. Bryn Renner’s 10-yard scoring pass to Brown cut Atlanta’s lead to one point. Renner’s 2-point pass intended for fullback Kiero Small was incomplete.
Renner threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Butler with about two minutes remaining.
Matt Schaub was 7 for 7 for 88 yards for the Ravens (1-3). Most Baltimore starters, including quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett and receiver Steve Smith, did not play.
Undrafted rookie running back Terrence Magee boosted his hopes by leading the Ravens with 37 yards rushing on nine carries. Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee), Forsett’s backup, is not expected to be ready for the season.
Coming off a discouraging offensive performance in last week’s 13-9 loss at Miami, the Falcons (2-2) showed promise on their opening drive. Rookie running back Tevin Coleman had gains of 5, 15 and 26 yards. Renfree’s pass to tight end Jacob Tamme set up a 2-yard touchdown plunge by fullback Collin Mooney, who delivered a nice save on the play. Mooney recovered a fumbled snap in midair before pushing the pile forward across the line.
Atlanta was without starting left tackle Jake Matthews (sore back). Otherwise, the Falcons used their starting offensive line against backups on Baltimore’s defense on the first drive.
Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones were on the field for only one play — the first handoff to Coleman. Renfree played the remainder of the half and led a third-quarter touchdown drive.
Coleman ran for 56 yards on eight carries and could open the season as the starter.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta’s starting running back when training camp opened, missed all four preseason games with a hamstring injury.