Monday, October 15, 2012
Superlatives on the Falcons
By Pat Yasinskas
ATLANTA -- With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and the Falcons’ media relations department, let’s take a look at some statistical superlatives from Atlanta’s 23-20 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday:
- Quarterback Matt Ryan now has led game-winning drives in the fourth quarter in each of his past three games. Since his 2008 rookie season, Ryan leads the NFL with 19 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. That’s three more game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime than any player in his first five seasons since 1966. Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Jake Plummer are tied for second with 16.
- This is more of a lowlight than a highlight, but Ryan had only the second three-interception game of his career. He has six interceptions in his last four games.
- Ryan is now 9-1 at home against AFC teams. His lone loss came against Denver in 2008.
- Ryan and Roddy White connected on their 38th receiving touchdown. That’s the most by any quarterback-receiver due since 2008.
- Ryan was 12-of-22 with all three of his interceptions on throws of more than 5 yards downfield. Ryan had completed 70.2 percent of such passes with seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his first five games.
- Ryan now has thrown for at least one touchdown in 21 straight games. That’s the third-best active streak in the NFL behind Drew Brees (48) and Tom Brady (38).
- The Falcons are off to the first 6-0 start in franchise history. They have seven consecutive wins, dating back to last season.
- Atlanta coach Mike Smith now has won 49 games, which ties him with Dan Reeves for the franchise record. But Smith is 49-21 (.700) while Reeves was 49-59-1 (.454).
- Kicker Matt Bryant hit a 55-yard field goal to win the game. It was the 14th game-winning field goal of his career and fifth as a member of the Falcons.
- Bryant has made eight field goals of 50-plus yards in his career. His teams are 7-1 when he has made a field goal of more than 50 yards.
- Cornerback Asante Samuel had his first interception since joining the Falcons and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown. Samuel’s 46 career interceptions rank No. 4 among active players and his 10 interception returns for touchdowns in the regular season rank No. 5 in NFL history.
- Defensive end John Abraham had three sacks on Sunday. That gives him six sacks for the season. His career 118.0 sacks are tops among active players.
- The Falcons have swept AFC West opponents this season. The Falcons average 29.3 points while allowing 17 points a game against the AFC West. They also were +10 in turnover differential against the AFC West.