Skip to main content

Falcons Takeoff: Facts, stats, quotes from Week 16 home win over Colts

Your one-stop shop for an overall statistical and factual look at the Falcons-Colts game in Week 16.


For the 2023 NFL season, digital team reporter Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Atlanta Falcons are taking flight into the new week.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons won 29-10 over the Indianapolis last Sunday for their Week 16 contest at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of 69,221 ticketed fans.


-- Twenty-nine points is a new season high for the Falcons. Their previous high was 28 points in their Week 9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Atlanta's 19-point margin of victory is also a new season high. The previous best was 14 in their Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers.

-- The Falcons averaged 6.34 offensive yards per play, which is the second-best average in a game this season. The best remains 6.39 in their Week 1 win over the Panthers.

-- Falcons safety Jessie Bates III picked off Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew in the fourth quarter. It marked Bates' sixth interception this season, extending his single-season career high. His previous high was four in 2022 with the Cincinnati Bengals. Bates' six interceptions also tie for the second most by a Falcons player since 2000. Safety Damontae Kazee, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, holds the record at seven in 2018. So, Bates has two more chances to top that.

-- Atlanta had a season-high six sacks against Minshew. Linebacker Zach Harrison (two), defensive lineman Calais Campbell (1½), linebacker Kaden Elliss (one), safety Richie Grant (one) and linebacker Arnold Ebiketie (½) were responsible for the tally. The Falcons' previous best was five in the Week 6 loss to the Washington Commandeers. Six is actually the most the Falcons have accomplished in a single game since their Week 15 win over the Arizona Cardinals, when Atlanta totaled seven sacks.


-- The Falcons are now 5-5 on Christmas Eve. Prior to Sunday's contest, the last time Atlanta won a Dec. 24 game was 2016 on the road against the Panthers.

-- Colts running back Jonathan Taylor scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. It was the first rushing touchdown the Falcons defense gave up to a running back this season. The other five rushing touchdowns came from quarterbacks.

-- If taking the "middle eight" as literal as the final four minutes of the second quarter and the first four minutes of the the third quarter, then the Falcons doubled down in that period for the first time this season. Kicker Younghoe Koo's 23-yard (3:23) and 47-yard (0:05) field goals came in the final four minutes of the second quarter. Then, running back Tyler Allgeier's 31-yard touchdown run (11:13) came in the first four minutes of the third quarter. 

-- The Colts became the 30th NFL team to play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Only two teams have not visited: the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. The Chiefs are scheduled to play in Atlanta next season. The Jets are not scheduled to do so in the near future.


On why he shaved his mustache prior to this game…

"This one wasn't impulsive. I had to change momentum — clean up, church myself up before the holidays."


Quarterback Taylor Heinicke

On his block for running back Bijan Robinson…

"Yeah, I didn't really anticipate blocking today. But I handed the ball off, kind of carried out my fake and saw (Robinson) was reversing field. So, I've said this before: Every time I go out there, I play like it's my last play, like it's my last game. Playing in the NFL is a very special opportunity. When you get your number called, it's special. When I go out there, I leave it all out on the field. It just so happened to be a corner right there. I hope it looked better than it felt. I haven't seen it yet. But anything to get the guys going. A lot of juice. That was cool."


Colts head coach Shane Steichen

On whether the defense needed to apply more pressure on Falcons quarterback Taylor Heinicke…

"I think he did a good job. I think we were getting there. He made some good movements in the pocket to create some space, and that's what he does a little bit. Obviously, you want to create that pressure on the quarterback and get those sacks and takeaways. Credit to Atlanta to what they did on offense."


Top 3 rushers

  1. Falcons: Bijan Robinson, 12 carries for 72 yards
  2. Falcons: Tyler Allgeier, nine carries for 69 yards and a touchdown
  3. Colts: Jonathan Taylor, 18 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown

Top 3 receivers

  1. Colts: Kylen Granson, five receptions for 62 yards
  2. Falcons: Bijan Robinson, 10 receptions for 50 yards
  3. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, three receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown

Top 3 passers

  1. Falcons: Taylor Heinicke, 23-33-0 for 229 yards and a touchdown (sacked once)
  2. Colts: Gardner Minshew, 20-37-1 for 201 yards (sacked six times)
  3. N/A

Top 3 defenders

  1. Colts: E.J. Speed, 13 total tackles, 10 solo
  2. Colts: Zaire Franklin, 12 total tackles, nine solo
  3. Falcons: Kaden Elliss, 10 total tackles, five solo (a sack)


The Falcons (7-8) hit the road Sunday for a New Year's Eve show in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears (6-9) at Soldier Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. CBS will carry live coverage.

The Bears are coming off a 27-16 win over the Cardinals for their own Week 16 matchup.

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts during Week 16.

Related Content