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Game Notes: Falcons vs. Bucs

Posted Dec 30, 2012

The Falcons struggled at times during a 22-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, but several big records in the franchise history books fell.

  • The Falcons finished the 2012 regular season at 13-3, tying the 2010 team for the second-best regular season record in franchise history. For the second time in the last three seasons, Atlanta enters the playoffs with the best record in the NFC and will host a Divisional Round playoff game at the Georgia Dome in two weeks (January 12 or 13).

  • With a 10-yard catch in the first quarter, WR Roddy White became just the fifth player in NFL history to post three straight seasons with 90-or-more receptions and 1,200-or-more yards. White joined WR Marvin Harrison (1999-02), WR Torry Holt (2002-05), WR Jerry Rice (1993-96), and Chad Johnson (2003-05) as the only players to accomplish that feat.

  • White finished the season with 92 receptions for 1,351yards and seven touchdowns. He has posted 1,300 yards in two of the last three seasons. His 622 career receptions and 8,680 career receiving yards are both franchise records while his 52 touchdown receptions rank third in club history.

  • CB Asante Samuel notched his 50th career regular-season interception when he picked off QB Josh Freeman in the third quarter. Samuel has recorded an interception in each of the last three games. This is the second time in his career that Samuel has posted three consecutive games with a pick. He also accomplished the feat in 2007 as a member of the New England Patriots.

  • Since 1940, Samuel is one of 10 cornerbacks to intercept 50 passes in his career. His 50 interceptions are the second most among active cornerbacks with only CB Champ Bailey (52) picking off more career passes and fourth among all active players.

  • Samuel’s five interceptions in 2012 rank second on the team behind S Thomas Decoud (six). The Falcons are the only team in the NFL to boast two players with five-or-more interceptions. This marks the fifth time in Samuel’s career he has posted at least five interceptions.

  • Atlanta took advantage of good field position following Samuel’s interception as RB Michael Turner raced 17 yards for a touchdown on the next drive. The score was Turner’s 10th rushing touchdown of the season. He is the only running back in team history to post 10-or-more rushing touchdowns in five straight seasons.

  • urner closed out the regular season by running for a touchdown in seven of his last nine games. He has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last three games against the Bucs and has totaled eight rushing touchdowns against Tampa Bay in his career.

  • 13-time Pro Bowl TE Tony Gonzalez caught five passes for 41 yards on Sunday and finished the season with a team-high 93 receptions for 930 yards with eight touchdowns. Gonzalez posted the best season by any tight end in Falcons history. His receptions and yardage total both set franchise records for the tight end position.

  • Gonzalez also became the first tight end in NFL history to record 90-or-more receptions in five seasons. The 2012 season, was Gonzalez’s best since 2008 in terms of catches, yards, and touchdowns. 

  • Pro Bowl QB Matt Ryan finished the season completing 422 of 615 pass attempts (68.9 percent) for 4,719 yards with 32 touchdowns and a 99.1 passer rating. Ryan set franchise records for attempts, completions, completion percentage, yards, and touchdowns.

  • Ryan broke QB Steve Bartkowski’s team record for passing touchdowns (31) when he hit WR Harry Douglas for a seven-yard score in the fourth quarter. Ryan’s 32 touchdown passes also ranked in the top five in the NFL this season.

  • Pro Bowl WR Julio Jones finished his sophomore season with 79 catches for 1,198 yards and a team-high 10 touchdown receptions. This season, Jones was named to his first Pro Bowl team and joined WR Roddy White to form one of the League’s best wide receiver duos.

  • K Matt Bryant hit a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter to break K Jay Feely’s franchise record for made field goals in a single-season. The kick was Bryant’s 33rd field goal of the season, topping Feely’s record of 32 set in 2002.

  • With two accepted penalties in Sunday’s season finale, the Falcons finished the 2012 regular season with an NFL-low 55 accepted penalties. Atlanta also broke a club record for fewest penalties in a single-season, bettering the 2010 team’s record of 58 accepted penalties.