Game Notebook: Falcons vs Lions

  • RB Steven Jackson became the 19th player in NFL history to reach 11,000 rushing yards on a five-yard run in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. On his first carry of the contest, Jackson surpassed former Falcons RB Warrick Dunn (10,967) for 19th on the NFL's all-time rushing list.
  • Jackson finished the game with 60 yards on 18 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run. He has 11,026 rushing yards in his career and is one of eight players in NFL history to post 11,000 rushing yards and 450 receptions.
  • Atlanta jumped out to an early lead as RB Devonta Freeman caught a seven-yard pass and scampered to the end zone for his first career touchdown. Selected by Atlanta with the 103rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Freeman caught 47 passes for 475 yards with one touchdown in three years at Florida State University.
  • Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed five of six passes on Atlanta's opening drive, including five straight after an incompletion of the first play from scrimmage. He hit Freeman for a seven-yard touchdown after driving 80 yards in 10 plays. Since 2008, the Falcons have scored an NFL-best 98 touchdowns on drives lasting 10-or-more plays. Additionally, the Falcons have scored on more than 80 percent of their 10-plus play drives.
  • The Falcons took a two-score lead when Ryan hit TE Bear Pascoe for a one-yard touchdown on a play-action pass. Pascoe's first touchdown catch as a Falcon came on his first reception of the season. Pascoe's only other touchdown catch came at Philadelphia on 9/30/12 as a member of the New York Giants.
  • Adding to his historic day, Jackson found the end zone for the third time this season, punching in a one-yard touchdown run late in the first half. Jackson has scored 65 career touchdowns on the ground, which is the third highest total among all active rushers.
  • Atlanta scored touchdowns on all three of its trips into the red area on Sunday, with two passing scores and one rushing TD. The Falcons have scored touchdowns on 13 of 17 red zone possessions this season and the club's 76.5 percent touchdown rate in the red zone leads the NFC.
  • Ryan completed 20 of 27 passes for 228 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 108.3 passer rating. After opening the game with an incompletion on the first play from scrimmage, Ryan connected on 14 of his next 16 passes to close out the first half with 160 yards, two touchdowns and a 145.1 QB rating.
  • Ryan has thrown 15 touchdowns in 2014, connecting with nine different receivers for scores this season.
  • CB Robert Alford recorded his career-best third interception of the season when he picked off QB Matthew Stafford in the closing minutes of the first half. Alford has picked off three passes in the last two games after intercepting QB Joe Flacco twice in Week 7 at Baltimore. He has recorded a team-leading 10 passes defensed this season.
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