Falcons' statistical superlatives
October, 1, 2012
By Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
ATLANTA -- With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and the Atlanta Falcons' media-relations department, let’s take a look at the Falcons’ statistical superlatives from Sunday’s 30-28 victory against the Carolina Panthers.
- The Carolina defense did a great job of shutting down wide receiver Julio Jones. He was targeted, but had only one reception. Plus, one of those passes for Jones resulted in a Carolina interception. But the problem with devoting too much defensive attention is that it frees up fellow receiver Roddy White. The Panthers ended up picking White as their poison. Matt Ryan connected with White on eight of 12 targets for 169 yards and two touchdowns. White averaged 23 yards per catch.
- White increased his record for 100-yard receiving games to 30.
- Atlanta’s defense did a nice job of putting pressure on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. He was under duress, hit or sacked on 10 (his highest total of the season) of his 30 dropbacks. Newton completed just one of five passes for six yards when he was under pressure. He was sacked three times and also scrambled twice for 17 yards when under duress.
- The Falcons improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2004. The only other time the Falcons started 4-0 was in 1986.
- Coach Mike Smith moved into sole possession of second place for most victories in franchise history. He now has 47 and surpassed Leeman Bennett, who had 46. The team record is 49 and is held by Dan Reeves.
- Ryan improved to 5-0 against the Panthers in the Georgia Dome.
- Ryan has thrown a touchdown pass in 19 straight games and five straight games with at least two touchdowns.
- Ryan finished with a 107.2 passer rating. He has had a passer rating above 100 in five straight games, dating back to last season’s finale.
- The Falcons are 27-0 when Ryan has a passer rating of 100 or better.
- Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal was the 13th game winner of his career. Bryant has made 22 consecutive field goals.
- Running back Michael Turner finished with 103 yards on 13 carries. It was his 26th 100-yard game as a Falcon. That’s a new franchise record. Gerald Riggs set the previous record with 25.
- Defensive end John Abraham sacked Newton on the game’s final play. Abraham is the NFL’s active leader with 115 career sacks and ranks No. 15 on the all-time list.
- The Falcons wore their 1966 throwback uniforms Sunday. Since 2009, they’re 6-1 in the throwback uniforms.