Superlatives on Falcons' victory
December, 16, 2011
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
ATLANTA – Let’s take a look at the statistical highlights from the Falcons' 41-14 victory against Jacksonville on Thursday night.
- My favorite of the bunch comes from ESPN Stats & Information and puts into perspective just how big a game defensive end John Abraham had. He became only the sixth player since the start of the 2001 season to record at least 3.5 sacks and force at least two fumbles in a single game. All of Abraham’s sacks came on downs when the Falcons only sent four pass rushers. He is the first player in the past two seasons to record more than three sacks via standard pass rushes in a single game.
- Abraham now has 111 career sacks and moved past Greg Townsend (109.5 sacks) and into 16th place on the NFL’s all-time list.
- Quarterback Matt Ryan was especially good when throwing inside the numbers. He completed 11 of 12 passes (91.7 percent), for two touchdowns and averaged 8.7 yards per attempt. In the first 13 games, Ryan completed 65.1 percent of his passes between the numbers and averaged 8.5 yards per attempt with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
- Ryan targeted Roddy White on 62 percent of his attempts. That’s the second-highest target percentage for any player since the start of the 2008 season. (The highest was when Denver’s Kyle Orton targeted Brandon Marshall on 68.3 percent of his throws in a 2009 game against the Colts.) All seven passes Ryan threw that traveled at least 15 yards in the air were intended for White.
- White increased his franchise record for 100-yard receiving games to 27.
- Ryan threw three touchdowns against Jacksonville after passing for four in the previous game, against Carolina. That marked the first time in his career he has thrown three or more touchdowns in back-to-back games.
- Ryan’s career record in December improved to 10-3 (.769 winning percentage). Only Tom Brady (.900), Philip Rivers (.857) and Peyton Manning (.833) have better December winning percentages.
- Atlanta’s 41 points were a season high.
- The Falcons are now 25-6 at the Georgia Dome since 2008. That’s the best home record for any NFC team in that span.
- Atlanta’s five sacks tied a season high. The Falcons first had five sacks in the season opener against Chicago.