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Falcons Efficiently Control First Half


Once again, the Falcons scored on their first drive of the game, a ten-play, 80 yarder, capping it with an 8-yard touchdown catch from running back Jacquizz Rodgers. A botched snap on the point after gave the Falcons a 6-0 lead.

The Falcons defense picked up where they left off on Monday, holding the Chargers in check and forcing a redzone turnover at the 7-yard line. Sean Weatherspoon's hit on Ryan Matthews dislodged the ball and Thomas DeCoud recovered. That was the Falcons' eighth forced turnover of the season, but the defense would add another late in the first half when DeCoud intercepted a Philip Rivers pass.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense took the turnover and made it count. Ryan led an offense, that saw the return of Julio Jones after missing most of the game with a hand injury, up the field with a 17-play drive, covering 96 yards.

Tony Gonzalez made the final play this time, catching a 7-yard TD pass. On the drive the Falcons continued their third-down dominance on the day. The Falcons offense completed the first half with a 75 percent third-down conversion rate, continuing drives on six of their eight opportunities.

Atlanta's defense helped give the offense opportunities in addition to the turnovers. They held San Diego to no third-down conversions and 107 net yards.

DeCoud's late interception gave the Falcons another shot at scoring and they did just that. Julio Jones caught a 9-yard touchdown pass to give the Falcons a 20-0 halftime lead. Unlike in the first two scoring drives, Ryan put the Falcons in high gear, using four plays to find the endzone.

Ryan continued his effective and efficient play on the season, completing 22 of 29 passes for 208 yards and a 76 percent completion percentage. Julio Jones is the team's leading receiver, despite missing much of the first half. His six catches netted 67 yards. Ryan spread the ball around within the balanced attack, connecting with eight different pass catchers.

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