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Game Notes: Falcons vs. Cardinals

Posted Nov 18, 2012

The Falcons fought off a tough Arizona Cardinals defense and a sloppy start to the game to move to 9-1 with a 23-19 win with a tough division slate ahead

  • Atlanta improved to 19-3 following a loss under Head Coach Mike Smith, including 11 straight wins dating back to 2009. The Falcons last lost back-to-back games in Weeks 13 and 14 of the 2009 season.

  • QB Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter for the fourth time this season. He has engineered game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime 20 times in his career, the most by any quarterback since 2008 and the most by a quarterback in his first five seasons since 1966.

  • Ryan drove the offense 70 yards in seven plays to set up a one-yard touchdown run by RB Michael Turner. Ryan completed four of five passes for 64 yards on the drive.

  • Turner’s one-yard touchdown was his fifth rushing score of the season and the 55th of his Falcons career. Turner is the club’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns and has posted 56 total touchdowns (55 rushing & one receiving) in his five seasons in Atlanta. On Sunday, he tied WR Andre Rison for second place on the franchise’s all-time touchdowns list. He trails WR Terance Mathis (57) by one score for a share of the record.

  • The Falcons won a defensive struggle over the Cardinals as Atlanta held Arizona to just 173 total net yards. A large part of the Falcons defensive success came with their ability to get off of the field on third down. Atlanta held Arizona to a 13 percent conversion rate on third downs (2 of 16).

  • Trailing 13-3 in the second quarter, DE John Abraham strip-sacked QB Ryan Lindley on a third down play at the Arizona 21. DT Jonathan Babineaux recovered the loose ball and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown to get Atlanta back in the game.

  • Babineaux’s scoop and score was his second career touchdown. The eighth-year veteran’s last touchdown came in Week 15 of the 2010 season when he recovered a fumble in the endzone at Seattle.

  • Abraham added a second sack on a third down play in the fourth quarter. His second sack of the day was his ninth of the season and the 121st of his NFL career. Abraham is the NFL’s active sack leader and is one of just 15 players in League history to record 120-or-more career sacks.

  • This season, the Falcons have scored 63 points on 19 takeaways. Babineaux’s fumble recovery for a touchdown was the Birds second defensive touchdown of the season.

  • This season, the Falcons have forced 13 turnovers on drives lasting four-or-fewer plays, including Babineaux’s second quarter touchdown, which came on the Cardinals third play from scrimmage in the second quarter. Atlanta’s 13 quick turnover drives trail only Chicago who entered Sunday with 14.

  • After surrendering a field goal with 37 seconds remaining in the half, Ryan drove the offense 50 yards in five plays to setup a game-tying 48-yard field goal by K Matt Bryant. This season, Atlanta has scored 19 points inside the final two minutes of either half. Since 2008, the Falcons have posted 99 points in two-minute situations, which ranks among the NFL leaders.

  • WR Roddy White recorded his fifth 100-yard game of the season on Sunday, catching eight passes for 123 yards. He has notched 100-plus receiving yards in three straight games and has eclipsed the century mark a franchise-record 33 times in his career.

  • This season, White has caught 62 passes for 946 yards with six touchdowns. He needs 54 yards to record his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, which would improve his own franchise record.

  • K Matt Bryant connected on all three of his field goal attempts on Sunday, including kicks from 51, 48, and 28 yards. This season, Bryant has hit 25 of his 28 field goals including each of his last eight attempts.

  • Bryant moved past K Norm Johnson for sole possession of fourth place in the team’s record book for made field goals. Bryant has hit 87 field goals since joining the club in 2009.

  • LB Stephen Nicholas notched his second sack of the season when he dragged down Lindley for a 14-yard loss on the Cardinals opening drive of the second half. Nicholas has recorded a sack in back-to-back games.

  • Atlanta’s defense was paced by CB Robert McClain who led the team with seven total tackles (six solo) and recorded one pass defensed.


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