Monday, December 12, 2011
Superlatives on the Falcons' win
By Pat Yasinskas ESPN.com
Let’s take a look at some statistical highlights from the Atlanta Falcons’ 31-23 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday:
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan said he's hoping that some added muscle will help him be more effective in late-season games.
Running back Michael Turner gained 76 yards on 21 carries. That gives Turner 1,068 rushing yards for the season. Turner has run for more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons in Atlanta, including each of the past two seasons.
Coach Mike Smith now has a 6-2 record against Carolina.
The Falcons are now 17-3 (.850) following a loss since Smith arrived in 2008. In that time frame, only New England has a better winning percentage (.867) after a loss.
The Falcons scored 24 straight points in the second half after trailing by as many as 16 points. This represents the fourth-largest comeback in franchise history.
Matt Ryan now has 16 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Ryan tied a career high with four touchdown passes. Ryan is now second in franchise history with 89 touchdown passes. He passed Chris Chandler and Chris Miller, who each had 87 touchdown passes while with the Falcons.
Ryan finished with a 120.5 NFL passer rating. It was the fifth time this season Ryan had a passer rating above 100. Since Ryan’s arrival in 2008, the Falcons are 21-0 when his passer rating is above 100.
Ryan now has thrown at least one touchdown in 12 straight games and in 27 of his past 28 games.
Rookie receiver Julio Jones caught three passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Jones is the second rookie in NFL history to twice have a 100-yard game with a 30-yard per catch average and two touchdowns in one season. The only other player to do that was Randy Moss in 1998.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez had seven catches for 82 yards and now has 13,275 career receiving yards. Gonzalez moved into 11th place on the all-time list, passing Andre Reed (13,198 yards). Gonzalez needs 108 yards to pass Torry Holt and move into the top 10.
Receiver Roddy White caught his sixth touchdown pass of the season. White now has caught a touchdown in each of the past three games.
White went over the 500-catch mark for his career. He now has 502 receptions and that puts him second on the franchise’s all-time list. Terance Mathis (573) is the team’s all-time leader.
Rookie running back Jacquizz Rodgers caught the first touchdown pass of his career. Ryan has thrown touchdown passes to eight different receivers this season.
Second-year linebacker Sean Weatherspoon continues to emerge as a standout. Weatherspoon had nine tackles, a sack and two tackles for losses. Weatherspoon leads the Falcons in tackles for losses with 13.