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Game Notes: Falcons at Redskins

Posted Oct 7, 2012

Tony Gonzalez had a monster day for the Falcons, catching 13 passes for 123 yards, one catch short of his career high, as the Falcons downed the Redskins 24-17

  • The Falcons improved to 5-0 for the first time in club history with Sunday’s 24-17 win at Washington. Atlanta started the 2004 and 1986 seasons 4-0 but had never started a season with five straight wins.
  • Head coach Mike Smith has compiled a 48-21 (.696) in four-plus seasons at the helm. With a win next week, Smith will tie Dan Reeves (49-59-1) for the most coaching wins in club history.
  • After a slow start, Atlanta scored 17 fourth quarter points, including a game tying 53-yard field goal by K Matt Bryant and a 13-yard go-ahead touchdown run by RB Michael Turner to secure the win.
  • For the second straight week, QB Matt Ryan led the offense on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. With the game tied at 17-17, QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a six-play, 69-yard drive, including Turner’s go-ahead touchdown run to take the lead with 2:46 remaining in the game.
  • Ryan has posted 18 game winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime during his five-year NFL career, including each of the last two games.  The 18 game-winning drives are the most in the NFL since 2008. Ryan completed three of three pass attempts for 51 yards on the final drive to set up Turner’s touchdown run.
  • Atlanta’s defense sealed the win with a pair of interceptions on Washington’s final two drives. CB Dunta Robinson picked off QB Kirk Cousins at the Falcons 36-yard line with two minutes remaining and S Thomas DeCoud picked off Cousins near midfield on the Redskins final drive.
  • TE Tony Gonzalez showed he is still one of the best tight ends in the NFL after hauling in 13 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, leading all receivers. Gonzalez’s 13 receptions were the second most he’s ever had in a single-game falling just shy of his career high 14 catches (12/25/04). Gonzalez has now caught 11-or-more passes four times during his career.
  • Sunday marked Gonzalez’s best game since joining the Falcons in 2009. His 13 receptions and 123 yards were both highs since arriving in Atlanta. He also posted his 29th career 100-yard game, extending his NFL record.
  • Gonzalez caught the 99th touchdown pass of his historic NFL career when Ryan found him in the back of the endzone for a one-yard score in the final minutes of the first half.
  • Gonzalez tied WR Don Hutson for eighth on the NFL’s all-time touchdown receptions list and he is one score shy of becoming the eighth player in the history of the National Football League to catch 100 touchdown passes. WR Tim Brown and WR Steve Largent are next up on the list as they sit tied with 100 touchdown catches each.
  • Ryan finished the game completing 34 of 52 pass attempts for 345 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He tied career highs with 34 completions on 52 attempts.
  • The fifth-year signal caller has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 20 straight games and he has thrown two-or-more touchdowns in each of his last six games. Ryan has guided the Falcons to a 28-5 record when he throws multiple touchdown passes.
  • After being named the NFC Player of the Month for September, Ryan continued his hot start into October on Sunday. His 345 total passing yards marked the 12th time in his career that he has eclipsed the 300-yard plateau. Ryan’s 12 career 300-yard games ties Steve Bartkowski for the franchise record. Bartkowski set the all-time mark between 1975 and 1985.
  • Ryan closed out both the first half and the game with impressive drives on Sunday. In the first half, Ryan drove the offense 79 yards in eight plays, tying the game with a one-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez. He completed seven of eight pass attempts for 74 yards on the drive and tied the game at 7-7 with just 30 seconds remaining in the half.
  • The Falcons defense held explosive rookie QB Robert Griffin III to the lowest passer rating of his career (82.9) and intercepted fellow rookie Cousins twice. Atlanta held Washington to just 187 net passing yards, racking up three sacks.
  • The Birds held the Redskins to just 12 first downs and only allowed Washington to convert on one of nine third down attempts (11 percent).
  • Robinson combined with DT Jonathan Babineaux for one sack of Griffin, while LB Sean Weatherspoon sacked Griffin on third and goal at the Falcons three-yard line. Entering Sunday’s game, the Redskins had scored touchdowns on all eight of their goal to go situations this season. Weatherspoon’s sack marked the first time they were held without a touchdown.
  • DE Kroy Biermann notched his first sack of the season, downing Cousins for a six-yard loss on a third down play in the fourth quarter. Biermann’s sack forced a Redskins punt and six plays later Turner raced into the endzone for the go-ahead score.
  • Robinson finished the game with six tackles (three solo), one half sack, one interception and two passes defensed. The interception was the 17th of Robinson’s career and his fourth as a Falcon.
  • Weatherspoon paced Atlanta’s defensive effort with 11 tackles (eight solo), one sack, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits.
  • K Matt Bryant tied the game at 17-17 in the fourth quarter with the longest road field goal of his career, connecting on a 53-yarder. Dating back to last season, Bryant has made 23 straight field goals. He set a franchise record for consecutive field goals with 30 between 2010 and 2011.
  • Bryant’s previous long kick came at New Orleans (12/26/11) when he hit a 51-yard field goal. His career best came in 2006 when he booted a 62 yard field goal.
  • WR Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 94 yards with one touchdown in Sunday’s win. In a Week 5 win over Seattle in 2011, Jones set a career-high with 11 receptions.
  • The second-year wide out from Alabama has been a road warrior over the last two seasons. He has caught a touchdown pass in five straight road games and has seven touchdowns in those five games. Additionally, Jones has posted 100-plus yards in six of his last nine road games.
  • Turner’s game winning touchdown gave him 54 total touchdowns as a Falcon, which ranks third in club history. He is three scores shy of passing WR Andre Rison for second in team annals.
  • WR Roddy White caught four passes for 68 yards on Sunday. He has totaled 561 career receptions and needs 13 catches to break WR Terance Mathis’ club record of 573. Since 2008, White’s 246 receptions are the most in the NFL.