Leftwich replaces Harrington as Atlanta's starting QB

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino
named Byron Leftwich to replace Joey Harrington today as the starting quarterback.

Hoping to spark an offense that's struggled without suspended quarterback Michael Vick, Petrino plans to keep Leftwich as his starter for the rest of the season.

The decision wasn't difficult for Petrino after the offense failed to score off three New York turnovers Monday night. The Giants won 31-10, dropping Atlanta to 1-and-5.

Petrino indicated that Leftwich might have played against New York if he hadn't missed so much practice time with a mild ankle sprain last week.

Overall, the offense has scored just seven touchdowns this year. The Falcons have managed just 33 combined points in four of their five losses.

Leftwich, who went 24-20 as four years with Jacksonville, signed a two-year, $7 million contract last month after his release from the Jaguars.

In his only appearance with Atlanta, Leftwich went 2-of-8 passing for 28 yards and one interception after replacing Harrington in the fourth quarter of a 20-13 loss at Tennessee two weeks ago.

The Falcons are 0-and-3 in the NFC entering their Week 7 trip to New Orleans (1-4).

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