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Game Notes: Falcons vs. Broncos

Notable milestones, statistics and facts associated with the Falcons' 27-21 Monday Night Football victory over the visiting Denver Broncos:

  • The Falcons improved to 27-6 at home and 5-0 in home openers under Head Coach Mike Smith
  • The Falcons improved to 9-4 all-time against the Broncos and snapped a six-game losing skid on Monday Night Football with a 27-21 win at the Georgia Dome. Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 5-0 in home openers and 27-6 at the Dome
  • Atlanta's defense set the early tone, picking off Broncos QB Peyton Manning on each of Denver's first three possessions. S William Moore intercepted Manning's second pass attempt of the game on the Broncos opening drive and returned it 33 yards to the one-yard line.
  • The pick was Moore's second of the season and the ninth of his career. It also marked the 35th time in the last 37 games that the Falcons have forced at least one turnover, which includes a streak of 27 straight games between 2010 and 2011.
  • Atlanta's offense took possession at the one-yard line following Moore's interception and RB Michael Turner punched in his first touchdown of the season and his 51st score as a Falcon, which is a franchise record. Since 2008, only Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (54) has scored more rushing touchdowns than Turner.
  • On the Broncos next possession, S Thomas DeCoud intercepted Manning and returned the ball 15 yards to the Broncos 43-yard line. The interception helped set up a 37-yard K Matt Bryant field goal to put the Falcons on top 10-0 in the early going.
  • Seven plays later, CB Robert McClain recorded his first career interception when he picked off Manning deep in Falcons territory. The last time Atlanta posted three-or-more interceptions in a game was the 2012 season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The Falcons posted takeaways on three consecutive possessions for the second straight game after forcing Chiefs QB Matt Cassel to fumble and picking him off twice in the 2012 season opener at Kansas City.
  • All three of the Falcons interceptions came in the first quarter, marking the first time the team has picked off three passes in the opening frame. Atlanta has recorded three picks in a single quarter four times in team history, with the last coming on December 20, 2003 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Under Smith, The Falcons have posted a 19-1 record when they record three-or-more takeaways in a game. Additionally, the Birds are now 30-2 in games when they win the turnover battle during that span.
  • Atlanta scored 13 points off of turnovers on Monday night and lead the League with 26 takeaway points after two games.
  • Offensively, the Falcons were led by QB Matt Ryan who shined under Monday Night lights, completing 24 of 36 pass attempts for 219 yards with two touchdowns and a 101.5 passer rating.
  • Ryan has posted a passer rating above 100 in three straight games and has broken the century mark in each of his last six home games against AFC opponents. Additionally, the Falcons own a 25-0 record when he posts a QB rating of 100-or-higher.
  • With two touchdown passes against the Broncos on Monday night, Ryan ran his career touchdown total to 100. Since 2008, his 100 TD passes rank fourth in the NFC and the Falcons are 26-5 when he throws two-or-more touchdown passes. The fifth-year signal caller has found the endzone in 32 of his last 33 games, including 17 in a row.
  • Ryan's first pass attempt of the game was a six-yard completion to RB Jason Snelling. With that completion, Ryan broke the franchise record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception, totaling 198 passes since his last pick. QB Steve Bartkowski threw 197 pass attempts without an interception between 1982 and 1983.
  • Ryan threw 36 passes without an interception in Monday's game, extended his franchise record to 233 consecutive pass attempts without a pick.
  • WR Roddy White also had a big game for the Birds, catching a team-high eight passes for 102 yards with one touchdown. White has now recorded 29 100-yard games in his career, which is a franchise record.
  • White has caught one touchdown pass in four of his last five Monday Night Football games and has recorded over 100 receiving yards in three of his last four Monday games.
  • Since 2008, White's 37 touchdown catches rank third in the NFL behind WR Calvin Johnson (45) and WR Larry Fitzgerald (39).
  • TE Tony Gonzalez caught seven passes for 70 yards with a touchdown, marking his 97th career score. The future Hall of Famer ranks ninth in League history in touchdown receptions and trails Don Hutson (99) by two scores for eighth.
  • Smith has compiled a 45-21 record in four-plus seasons as Falcons head coach. He currently ranks third in club history in wins, trailing only Dan Reeves (49-59-1 - .454 – 1997-03) and Leeman Bennett (46-41 - .516 – 1977-82). Smith needs five wins to become the franchise's all-time wins leader.
  • Turner's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter gave him four touchdowns in his last three games against the Broncos. He finished the game with 42 yards on 17 carries moving him past RB Jamal Anderson for the fourth place on the franchise's all-time rushing list with 5,355 yards.
  • Moore finished the game with eight tackles (five solo, one interception, two passes defensed and one sack. His sack of Manning came on a third down play in the fourth quarter and helped the Falcons to the six point victory.
  • Linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon paced the defense, combining for 18 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss.
  • The 2-0 Falcons are one of six undefeated teams remaining in the NFL after week two. They face another of those 2-0 teams this Sunday when the team travels to San Diego to take on the Chargers.
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