Monday, November 19, 2012
Statistical superlatives on the Falcons
By Pat Yasinskas
It wasn’t pretty on the surface, but the Atlanta Falcons got to 9-1 with their 23-19 victory against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and Atlanta’s media relations department, let’s take a look at some of the statistical superlatives and a few lowlights from the game:
- The Falcons clinched their fifth consecutive winning season. The franchise never had back-to-back winning seasons since coach Mike Smith arrived in 2008 and accomplished that in his first two seasons. It's kind of strange because the Falcons aren't making a big deal or talking much about clinching a winning season. I guess that goes hand in hand with their biggest theme of this season -- that simply winning in the regular season isn't enough.
- Matt Ryan was intercepted a career-high five times. He also was intercepted three times in the first quarter, the most times he ever has been intercepted in a quarter.
- Ryan became the first Atlanta quarterback with five interceptions in a game since Bobby Hebert (yeah, he didn't just play for the Saints) was picked off six times in a 1996 game against the Rams.
- Ryan became the first quarterback to throw five interceptions without a touchdown pass and come away with a win since Bart Starr in 1967.
- Ryan’s career home record is 31-4 (an .886 winning percentage). That’s the best percentage by a quarterback to debut a career in the Super Bowl era.
- Ryan recorded the 20th fourth-quarter, game-winning drive of his career. That’s the most by any quarterback since 2008 and the most by any quarterback in his first five seasons since 1966
- Atlanta’s 9-1 record marks the best 10-game start in franchise history.
- The Falcons now have won nine straight home games, the most since a 10-game streak in the 1997 and ’98 seasons.
- The Falcons improved to 19-3 after a loss in Smith’s tenure. They haven’t lost back-to-back games since Weeks 13 and 14 of the 2009 season.
- Running back Michael Turner now has 56 touchdowns since joining the Falcons. He is tied with receiver Andre Rison for No. 2 on the team’s all-time list. Receiver Terance Mathis holds the team record with 57 touchdowns.
- The Falcons held the Cardinals to 173 net yards of offense. A major reason for that came due to the fact the Falcons allowed Arizona to convert only 2 of 16 (13 percent) third downs into first downs.
- Defensive end John Abraham finished with two sacks and now has 121 for his career. Abraham is the NFL’s active leader in sacks and one of only 15 players in history with 120 or more career sacks.
- Roddy White had his fifth game of the season with at least 100 receiving yards. It was also the third consecutive game in which White has had 100 receiving yards. He holds the franchise record with 33 games in which he has had at least 100 receiving yards.
- White needs 54 yards to record his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season.