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Atlanta D Continues Strong Streak

Posted Dec 22, 2012

The Falcons are starting to come together as they enter the playoffs, just as they said they wanted to. While Atlanta's offense was huge Saturday night against Detroit, the defense put in a solid night of work as well.

They pitched a shutout last week and on Saturday night the Falcons defense continued their recent strong play.

They extended a streak of not allowing a touchdown to six quarters, a streak that ended when the Lions scored their first touchdown of the game. Two field goals in the first half voided the potential shutout, but Atlanta's D kept the Lions and their high-flying passing attack from doing very much damage.

Detroit gained more than 500 yards of total offense, but the league's fourth-best team at keeping opponents out of the end zone continued to do just that. The Lions scored their touchdown in the third quarter, a point in the game when Atlanta struggled a little, including on defense. The Lions scoring drive took more than six minutes off the clock, finishing it off with a 1-yard touchdown run. In the Lions' only other goal-to-go situation, the Falcons stopped Detroit from scoring six.

The Lions made four trips inside the red zone and only scored the one touchdown. The Falcons were also solid on third downs against the Lions. They faced 14 third-down situations, allowing only five to be converted

After starting the season with a hot streak of takeaways, the defense had cooled down the stretch until recently. In the last two games they've forced six turnovers, three in each game. Two first-half fumbles by Corey Peters and John Abraham led to touchdowns on offense and the third takeaway, an Asante Samuel interception in the fourth quarter, kept a driving Lions offense from drawing to within four points. Atlanta turned Samuel's interception into a field goal.

The Falcons' three takeaways against the Lions make 30 on the season, joining only four other teams in the NFL with 30 or more takeaways. Sunday's game was the 11th of the season the Falcons have recorded a takeaway. It was the sixth game of the season they're recorded three or more takeaways in a single game.