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Falcons-Dolphins Game Notes


ATLANTA-- Game Notes from the Falcons-Dolphins game at the Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009.

  • With a 20-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, tight end Tony Gonzalezbecame the 21st player in NFL history with 11,000 career receiving yards. Gonzalez entered the season as the all-time leader in receiving yards among tight ends in NFL history (10,940).
  • Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez caught his first official pass and 917th career catch at the 14:12 mark in the first quarter. With the catch, Gonzalez extended his streak of consecutive games with one reception to 132. He finished the game leading the Falcons in receiving with five receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown.
  • Tony Gonzalez's 20-yard touchdown reception marked only the third time the 13-year veteran scored on the opening game of the season in his illustrious career.
  • Atlanta's first touchdown of the season came on a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryanto fullback Ovie Mughelliin the second quarter, giving the Falcons a 7-0 lead. The touchdown reception for Mughelli was his first since 2006. The scoring drive consisted of 14 plays for 89 yards while burning 7:27 off the clock. The drive also consisted of two third down conversions and two receptions by tight end Tony Gonzalez for 34 yards.
  • Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan finished the first half with 146 passing yards, which is the fourth-highest total in the first half for the second-year QB in his career.
  • Quarterback Matt Ryan recorded his second touchdown pass of the contest with 1:17 remaining in the third quarter to tight end Tony Gonzalez, the 77th of his career and first as a Falcon. The score gave the Falcons a 16-0 advantage.
  • With the Dolphins offense driving late into the second quarter, linebacker Mike Petersonforced a key fumble, which was recovered by newly acquired defensive back Brian Williamsand returned 53 yards to the Miami 31-yard line. The return set up an Atlanta field goal and a 10-0 lead at halftime.
  • Falcons defensive back Brian Williams' fumble return in the second quarter went for 53 yards, marking the longest fumble return for the Falcons since October 7, 2007 when DeAngelo Hall returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee.
  • On Miami's first offensive possession, defensive end Kroy Biermannsacked Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington and forced a fumble. The sack was the third of Biermann's career as he tallied his first career forced fumble. The ball was recovered by defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux. Biermann added his second sack of the game on a Dolphins third down possession in the third quarter to force a punt. The sacks marked the first multiple-sack game for the second-year defensive end in his career.
  • On a third and four play from the Dolphins 46-yard line, Atlanta defensive end John Abrahamposted his first sack of the season forcing a Dolphins punt. Abraham logged his second quarterback takedown in the third quarter to finish with two on the day. Abraham has now recorded 20.5 sacks in his last 18 games, 28.5 in his last 32 contests and has notched 86.0 for his career
  • With two sacks against Miami, John Abraham has now posted 19 career multiple-sack games in his career. When Abraham tallies multiple-sack games, the teams he plays with (New York and Atlanta) have compiled a 15-5 record.
  • With a 19-7 Falcons victory, Atlanta out-sacked the Dolphins by a 4.0-2.0 margin. In 2008 the Falcons were 11-1 when out-sacking its opponents.
  • With first and third quarter sacks of Chad Pennington, John Abraham has now logged 13.0 career opening day sacks. The stretch for the 10-year veteran includes eight seasons, minus his 2000 and 2007 campaigns.
  • With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson intercepted his 16th career pass (his first since 2007), his first with the Falcons. Peterson returned the ball 39 yards into Miami territory setting up a Falcons touchdown.
  • Atlanta earned its fourth turnover of the game when linebacker Curtis Loftonforced a fumble in the third quarter. The ball was recovered by Jonathan Babineaux, which was his second of the game and the sixth of his career. Atlanta's four produced turnovers was the highest-mark for the team since a 24-17 victory against the Minnesota Vikings last year (12/21/08).
  • Running back Jerious Norwoodposted five receptions, tying his single-game career high which he set against Philadelphia last season (five receptions for 55 yards).
  • Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli logged a 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter marking his longest grab in a game since 2006.
  • Atlanta kicker Jason Elam posted his first field goal of the season on a 36-yard attempt late in the second quarter to give the Falcons a 10-7 halftime lead. Elam split the uprights again in the fourth quarter on a 50-yard attempt marking his 39th career conversion of 50-plus yards and his first since the 2008 season opener against Detroit (50 yards). The field goals are the 425th and 426th of his career and his 30th and 31st as a member of the Falcons.
  • Atlanta's defense held the Dolphins scoreless for three quarters and 11:39 into the fourth quarter.


  • GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete game coverage from
  • GAME CENTER:Stats and more from
  • GAME FEATURE:Falcons defense steps up in Week 1 win
  • FROM THE BLOG:Notes from the game in J. Michael Moore's blog
  • FIRST TAKE:Head Coach Mike Smith | Ryan | Gonzalez | Biermann | Peterson
  • NFL NETWORK:Highlights and interviews from NFL Network
  • INTERVIEWS:Locker room interviews and more Falcons-Dolphins video
  • GAME NOTES:Offcial game notes from the Georgia Dome press box
  • PHOTOS:Images from the Falcons season-opening win
  • QUOTABLE:Quotes from Falcons coaches and players | Dolphins
  • INACTIVES:Inactive players and starters from Sunday's game
  • BOARDS:Talk about the game with other fans on FalconsLIFE
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