Joey Harrington threw a pair of touchdown passes to Michael Jenkins, 47-year-old Morten Andersen kicked four field goals and the Falcons defeated Matt Schaub and the Houston Texas 26-16 Sunday.
Jenkins hauled in scoring passes of 5 and 7 yards, the first two-touchdown game of his up-and-down career. Harrington, who took over as the Falcons starter after Schaub was traded and Vick became embroiled in a dogfighting case, had another effective day by competing 23-of-29 for 223 yards.
A week earlier, Harrington threw for 361 yards in a loss to Carolina.
The Falcons (1-3), who were one of five winless teams left in the NFL, went up 20-7 in the first and guarded their lead the rest of the game. The Texans (2-2) twice closed within a touchdown but couldn’t come all the way back.
Schaub was 28-of-40 for 317 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andre Davis that gave Houston a short-lived lead in the first quarter. But the Texans couldn’t punch in their other scoring chances, settling for three field goals by Kris Brown.
The NFL’s oldest player, Andersen showed he’s still got plenty of punch in his left leg by connecting from 28, 22, 36 and 46 yards. He also had a 42-yard attempt that came up short and might have been nicked by a Houston rusher.
The Texans’ final chance came with just over 2 minutes remaining. Schaub ran up the middle and dove into the end zone, initially getting credit for a 13-yard touchdown run that could have pulled Houston within a field goal.
But the Falcons challenged, and referee Gerald Austin ruled that Schaub went down just short of the end zone. On third-and-goal from the 1, Schaub tried a quick pitch to Ron Dayne, but the ball bounced off his hands and rolled out of bounds at the 7.
Brown yanked a 25-yard field goal attempt wide left, sealing Atlanta’s first win since last Dec. 10 at Tampa Bay.
Harrington hooked up with Jenkins on a pass in the back of the end zone with just over a minute left in the first quarter to put the Falcons up 10-7.
They led the rest of the way, pushing it to 17-7 when Harrington went to Jenkins with a short pass and he scooted around right end for the 7-yard touchdown. Andersen then booted through his 22-yarder to give the Falcons their biggest lead.