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Game Notes: Falcons at Bucs

Posted Nov 25, 2012

Running back Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez each set career marks in a 24-23 win over the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday

  • The Falcons improved to 10-1 on the season and 2-1 in NFC South games with their one-point win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

  • Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 11-0 when facing a first time head coach including Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers and rookie Head Coach Greg Schiano.

  • With their one-point win over the Buccaneers, the Falcons improved to 7-1 in games decided by one score this season including a 3-0 record in games decided by three points or less. Since 2008, Atlanta has posted a 29-11 record in one score games and its .725 winning percentage during that span is the best in the League.

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Falcons have seven wins by seven or fewer points which is tied with the 2006 Colts for the most such wins during a 10-1/11-0 start by an NFL team.

  • QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter for the second straight week and the fifth time this season. In his career, Ryan has led the Falcons on game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime 21 times, which is the highest total by a QB since 2008 and the most by any signal caller in his first five seasons since 1966.

  • Ryan finished the game completing 26 of 32 pass attempts for 353 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a 110.0 passer rating. Sunday marked Ryan’s sixth 300-yard game of the season, which ties his own franchise record set in 2011.

  • Ryan posted a passer rating above 100 for the ninth time this season and in his career, the Falcons are 30-1 when his QB rating is over the century mark.

  • WR Julio Jones had a career day, catching six passes for a career-high 147 yards, including a season-long 80-yard touchdown reception. In 13 career road games, Jones has posted 76 receptions for 1,358 and 11 touchdowns.

  • Jones eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the fourth time this season and the ninth time in his career.

  • Ryan and Jones connected on an 80-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay. It was the Falcons longest scoring play of the season and tied Jones’ career-long reception. He also caught an 80-yard touchdown at Indianapolis in 2011 (11/6).

  • Ryan’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Jones was his fifth career touchdown pass of 70-plus yards.

  • Atlanta’s defense was stout against the Buccaneers vaunted running game, holding RB Doug Martin to just 50 yards on 21 carries and a 2.4 yard per carry average. Entering Sunday’s game, Martin had totaled 1,000 yards on 197 carries with a 5.1 yard per carry average. Tampa entered the game averaging 128.9 rush yards per game, which ranked ninth in the NFL.

  • TE Tony Gonzalez became the eighth player and first tight end in NFL history to record over 14,000 career receiving yards. He finished the game with five catches for 62 yards and moved into seventh place on the NFL’s all-time receiving list, passing WR James Lofton who totaled 14,004 yards in 13 seasons from 1978-1993.

  • RB Michael Turner punched in the eventual game-winning score with a three-yard run in the fourth quarter. It was his sixth rushing touchdown of the season and his 57th total touchdown as a Falcon. Turner tied WR Terance Mathis for the franchise record in total touchdowns and over the last five seasons, only RB Adrian Peterson has found the endzone more.

  • Turner now has six rushing touchdowns in his last five games against Tampa Bay, including three scores on the ground in the last two meetings.

  • RB Jacquizz Rodgers scored his first rushing touchdown of the season, scoring from five yards out to give the Falcons an early 10-7 lead. Rodgers also played a vital role setting up Atlanta’s go-ahead score. The second-year running back returned a Buccaneer’s kickoff 43 yards out to the Falcons 36-yard-line. On the next play, Rodgers caught a short pass took it 32 yards down to the Tampa Bay 32-yard-line setting up RB Michael Turner’s eventual game winning touchdown run.

  • Rodgers finished the game with 10 carries for 49 yards and one touchdown on the ground. He added two catches for 30 yards, including a career-long 32-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter. In all, Rodgers produced 152 all-purpose yards.

  • CB Dunta Robinson tallied six tackles (six solo) with one sack. Robinson now has 1.5 sacks on the season, his highest total since posting 3.0 sacks during his rookie season in Houston in 2004.

  • DE Kroy Biermann also recorded a sack, dragging down QB Josh Freeman for a one-yard loss on a key third down play. Biermann has totaled three sacks this season and has run his career total to 15.5.


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