- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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DETROIT -- With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and the Falcons’ media relations department, let’s take a by-the-numbers look back at how Atlanta defeated Detroit, 31-18, Saturday night at Ford Field.
The Falcons won for the fourth time on prime-time television this season. Since 2008, the Falcons are 8-4 in prime-time games.
Coach Mike Smith posted his 56th career win. Smith’s record is 56-23. That’s the second-best record in five seasons in NFL history. Former San Francisco coach George Seifert is No. 1 at 62-18.
Quarterback Matt Ryan completed 25 of 32 passes for 279 yards with four touchdowns and a 142.6 passer rating. That’s the exact same passer rating Ryan posted in last week’s win against the New York Giants.
The Falcons are 32-1 when Ryan has a passer rating of 100 or better. His passer rating is 100.2 for the season and he has a chance to become only the second quarterback in franchise history to post a passer rating of at least 100 for a season. Chris Chandler had a 100.9 passer rating in the 1998 season -- the only time the Falcons reached the Super Bowl.
The four touchdowns matched Ryan’s career high and he now is tied for the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season (31) with Steve Bartkowski.
Ryan was especially good on play-action passes. He completed all seven of his attempts for 109 yards and three touchdowns.
Only three of Ryan’s passes (excluding throwaways) were incomplete due to an overthrow or underthrow. Ryan leads the NFL with only 13.4 percent of his passes falling off target.
White finished with eight catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the 35th 100-yard game of his career, and White tied his franchise record for 100-yard games in a season (seven).
With one game remaining, White is 81 yards shy of breaking the franchise record for receiving yards in a season (1,389) that he set in 2010.
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford didn’t have a passing touchdown. That marked the fifth time in the last six games the Falcons have not allowed a touchdown pass.
The defense had three takeaways and the Falcons produced points each time. Atlanta now has 96 points off 29 takeaways this season.