1. Overcoming Injuries, Again: The Atlanta Falcons were dealt multiple blows in Sunday's win, losing cornerback Robert Alford (wrist) and running back Antone Smith (leg) to injuries. During his Monday press conference, Falcons head coach Mike Smith offered more details on the injuries to Alford and Smith. "Robert Alford does have a wrist injury and will miss some time," Smith said. "We don't think it's going to be long-term and he's getting treatment as we speak, so hopefully he'll be back in a time frame of 2-4 weeks. Antone Smith, unfortunately, will be out for the season with a broken leg and we will be putting him on injured reserve and making that transaction at the appropriate time. Antone was injured covering a punt in the ball game Sunday."
2. The Toughness Factor: When Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester saw teammate Harry Douglas being pushed after the whistle in the third quarter Sunday, something just clicked. "I didn't even think twice," Hester said. "When I saw my teammate, my guy on the ground and the opponent just mushing his face to the ground, I just clicked and I knew that I had to go defend him and that's what I did. I do regret drawing the penalty and at the end of the day, we have to be smart with those situations, but it's tough when you see somebody out there doing that to your brother."
3. Roddy White Perspective:It took White just 1:17 into the first quarter Sunday to extend his franchise-record-holding streak of consecutive games with a reception (121). Two quarters later, his 2-yard touchdown reception pushed Atlanta's lead to 16-3, before a fourth quarter 11-yard catch gave him 10,003 career receiving yards (732 receptions). White is one of eight active players to accomplish that feat and the 42nd player in NFL history to reach 10,000 receiving yards. His fifth touchdown of the season, the 60th of his career, moved him two behind former Falcons running back Michael Turner (61) for the franchise record for career touchdowns.
The Atlanta Falcons face off in an NFC South match-up against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Take a look at these pictures of gameday.
4. Overlooked Specialists: Falcons kicker Matt Bryant posted his second-straight game with four field goals, connecting on kicks from 26, 34, 42, and 44 yards. He's made four field goals in a single game 10 times in his career and five times as a Falcon. Bryant's teams are 9-1 when he connects on four field goals. Also, the 39-year-old kicker has hit 29-consecutive field goals inside 50 yards, dating back to 2013. Smith said his kicker is "absolutely" overlooked as a clutch player and when his team sets Bryant up for a crucial kick, "he's going to put it between the pipes." Another overlooked Falcons star is wide receiver Eric Weems. The former Pro Bowl special teams ace notched a team-record six special teams tackles on Sunday (according to STATS LLC.). Since 1994, Weems is one of 11 players in the NFL to post six special teams tackles in a single game.
5. Falcons D Rising Up: Atlanta's defense recorded its second-straight game with multiple interceptions and multiple sacks. Linebacker Paul Worrilow logged his second sack of the season, finishing with a team-high nine tackles, giving him 97 tackles in 2014 to lead the club. Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael picked off Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on Carolina's first offensive possession, finishing the game with six tackles (five solo), two passes defensed and the one interception. Second-year cornerback Desmond Trufant also picked off Newton, setting up an eventual field goal, early in the second quarter. Trufant has notched three-career interceptions, two of them against Newton at Bank of America Stadium.