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Associated Press

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 16 at 4:02 AM

RAMS-FALCONS

Jones has huge day, Falcons hold off Rams 31-24

ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Jones hauled in 11 passes for 182 yards, including an 81-yard touchdown, and the Atlanta Falcons held on for their first win of the season, 31-24 over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and two scores despite taking quite a beating behind the Falcons' shaky offense line. Jason Snelling clinched it for the Falcons with an 11-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining — Atlanta's longest play of the day on the ground.

The Rams fell behind 21-0 when Osi Umenyiora returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime before St Louis fought back on a pair of short touchdown passes by Sam Bradford.

Bradford finished with 352 yards and three TDs.

COWBOYS-CHIEFS

Chiefs start 2-0 after beating Cowboys 17-16

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Smith threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and the Kansas City Chiefs defense held when it needed to in the fourth quarter for a 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Jamaal Charles ran for 55 yards and caught a touchdown pass for the Chiefs, who made new coach Andy Reid a winner in his home debut. The Chiefs also matched their victory total from all of last season by starting 2-0 for just the second time since 2005.

Dwayne Bowe's touchdown catch in the third quarter and Ryan Succop's 40-yard field goal early in the fourth gave the Chiefs a 17-13 lead. The Cowboys (1-1) answered with a deep march into Kansas City territory but had to settle for Dan Bailey's 53-yard field goal with 3:55 left.

The Chiefs offense never gave the Cowboys a chance to mount a winning drive.

ROYALS-TIGERS

Avila's 2 HRs lead Tigers over Royals 3-2

DETROIT (AP) — Alex Avila homered twice, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning that lifted the Detroit Tigers over the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Sunday.

Detroit's Max Scherzer struck out 12 in seven innings, but he was denied his 20th victory when Kansas City tied it off Drew Smyly in the eighth. Avila answered in the bottom half with a homer to right-center.

Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 20 chances for the AL Central-leading Tigers.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched all eight innings for the Royals, who began the day 3 1-2 games back in the AL wild-card race.

Avila's first homer was a two-run shot in the second. Alex Gordon hit a solo homer for Kansas City in the fourth.

MARINERS-CARDINALS

Molina's HR, 4 hits lead Cardinals past Mariners

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina broke out of a slump with a home run and three singles as Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals remained tied for first place in the NL Central with a 12-2 win Sunday over the Seattle Mariners.

Matt Adams also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in nine games and kept pace with Pittsburgh. Both teams are 87-62 with 13 games remaining.

Miller gave up one earned run and three hits in five innings. He became the first St. Louis rookie to reach 14 wins in a season since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967.

Molina's second-inning homer off Erasmo Ramirez snapped an 0-for-15 skid. Molina scored three times and raised his batting average to .317.

BLUES-STARS

Tarasenko's SO goal gives Blues win over Stars

DALLAS (AP) — Vladimir Tarasenko scored the only goal in a shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars in an preseason game on Sunday night.

Tarasenko flipped the puck over the shoulder of Jack Campbell and into the upper left corner of the net.

First-round draft pick Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals to give Dallas leads of 4-3 and 5-4.

The Blues tied it 5-5 on Ryan Reaves' goal with 8:57 remaining in the third period.

Dallas took a 2-0 lead 4 minutes into the game on goals by Erik Cole and Kevin Connauton, but the first period ended in a 2-2 tie after newly acquired Maxim Lapierre scored twice for St. Louis.

Tyler Seguin scored on a second-period power play in his Stars debut.

RAMS-FALCONS INACTIVES

Falcons WRs White, Jones to play against Rams

ATLANTA (AP) — Falcons receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones were active against the Rams after being listed as questionable.

White has never missed a game in nine seasons with Atlanta. He has been slowed by an ankle sprain since the third week of the preseason. Jones has a knee injury.

Rams defensive end Chris Long is active and will extend his streak of playing in 81 consecutive games after missing Friday's practice with a sore hip. It is the third-longest streak among defensive ends.

There were no starters on the inactive lists for either team.

Rams safeties Quinton Pointer and Darian Stewart are out with thigh injuries.

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