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Game Notes: Falcons vs. Giants

  • The Falcons improved to 12-2 on the season and moved one game closer to clinching home-field advantage with a 34-0 shutout win over the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Atlanta's defense posted its first shutout since 11/2/09 at Oakland and its first shutout at the Georgia Dome since 10/20/02 against Carolina.
  • Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Falcons have excelled in responding to a loss by refocusing and correcting mistakes. Since 2008, the Falcons have gone 20-3 following losses, including a 2-0 record this season. Dating back to 2009, the Falcons have won 12 straight games coming off of a loss.
  • Atlanta's defense dealt QB Eli Manning his first career regular season shutout and Sunday marked the first time since December of 1996 that the Giants have been shutout in the regular season.
  • QB Matt Ryan broke a pair of his own franchise records on Sunday. He topped his club record for passing yards in a single season after just 14 games, finishing the game with 4,202 yards for the season. Ryan threw for 4,177 yards in 2011. Ryan also broke his club record for completions in a season, as he has connected on 369 passes this season. The fifth-year signal caller set a franchise record with 357 completions in 2010.
  • Ryan is the only quarterback in team history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons. In fact, he is the only Falcons' passer that has eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark multiple times.
  • Ryan finished the game completing 23 of 28 passes (82.1 percent) for 270 yards with three touchdowns and a 142.6 passer rating. His 82.1 completion percentage is the second highest of his career, trailing his 24 of 28 (85.7) performance against Green Bay in 2010 (11/28/10).
  • Sunday's win marked the 32nd time in his career that Ryan has posted a passer rating of 100-or-higher. The Falcons are 31-1 in those games, including a 20-0 record at the Georgia Dome. Ryan's 142.6 quarterback rating against New York was the second-highest single game rating of his career. He posted a 146.3 passer rating in the 2011 season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Ryan owns a 33-4 record at the Georgia Dome, including wins in each of his last 11 starts at home. His .892 winning percentage is the second best in the NFL over the last five seasons, trailing only New England QB Tom Brady (.935).
  • With 33 wins in his first 37 starts at the Georgia Dome, Ryan has the best home winning percentage of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
  • CB Asante Samuel intercepted Manning's first pass attempt of the game. Samuel has picked off Manning four times in 11 career regular season games against the Giants. The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback has three interceptions this season and his 48 career picks are the fourth most among active players.
  • The Falcons took advantage of good field position as a result of Samuel's interception, driving 16 yards on four plays to score the game's first touchdown. This season, Atlanta has scored 51 points on its first offensive possession, which leads the NFL. Since 2008, the Falcons' 224 points scored on their opening drives are the most in the League.
  • RB Michael Turner punched in his ninth touchdown of the season on a one-yard run. Turner has run for a touchdown in each of the last five games and is the Falcons all-time leader in touchdowns with 60 total scores (59 rush & 1 receiving).
  • Turner finished the game with 52 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown. He became the second leading rusher in Falcons history with 6,022 yards. Turner passed RB Warrick Dunn (5,981) and RB William Andrews (5,986) to move into second place. He trails RB Gerald Riggs (6,630) for the clubs all-time rushing yardage record.
  • With a four-yard reception in the first half, WR Julio Jones recorded his first 1,000-yard season.
  • Jones and White are the first Falcons teammates to post 1,000 receiving yards in the same season since WR Tony Martin (1,181) and Terance Mathis (1,136) each accomplished that feat in 1998 when the Falcons were NFC Champions and represented the conference in the Super Bowl. It also marks the third time in team history two players have eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in the same season.
  • The duo of Jones and White have combined for 148 receptions, 2,227 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, making them the most productive receiving tandem in the NFL.
  • On the Falcons second possession of the game, Ryan hit TE Tony Gonzalez for a 12-yard touchdown. The score was Ryan's 25th touchdown pass of the season, making him the only quarterback in team history to throw for at least 25 touchdowns in three consecutive seasons.
  • Gonzalez finished the game with six receptions for 49 yards and one touchdown. He has eight touchdown catches this season and he has 103 career scores, which is an NFL record for tight ends.
  • Ryan hit Jones for a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put Atlanta on top 24-0. Ryan has thrown multiple touchdowns in nine games this season and he has posted 37 multi-touchdown games in his career.
  • Jones has caught six touchdown passes of 40-or-more yards in his career, including three this season. The Falcons are 6-0 when Jones catches a 40-plus yard touchdown.
  • Ryan threw his third score of the game in the fourth quarter, connecting with Jones on a three-yard touchdown. The Falcons are 16-1 when Ryan throws three touchdown passes, including a 5-1 mark in 2012. Only QB Daryle Lamonica (19-0) has better record in games with three-or-more touchdown passes.
  • Jones finished the game with six receptions for 74 yards with two touchdowns. Sunday was the second time this season he has caught two touchdown passes and the fifth multi-touchdown game of his career.
  • In 26 career games, Jones has posted 17 receiving touchdowns, which is the highest total by any Falcons player in his first two seasons.
  • The Falcons defense disrupted QB Eli Manning early and often in the first half as he completed eight of 17 passes for 112 yards with two interceptions and a 29.2 passer rating.
  • Manning finished the game completing 13 of 25 pass attempts (52.0 percent) for 161 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 38.9 passer rating. The Falcons have not allowed a passing touchdown at the Georgia Dome in three straight games. Overall, Atlanta has held opponents without a passing touchdown in four of its last five games.
  • S Thomas DeCoud picked off Manning for his team-leading sixth interception of the season. Sunday marked the sixth time Atlanta has recorded multiple interceptions in a game this season. Since 2008, the Falcons have posted 25 multi-interception games.
  • Atlanta is the only team in the NFL to field two safeties with four-or-more interceptions this season as DeCoud has six INTs and S William Moore has posted four picks.
  • With two interceptions in Sunday's win over the Giants, the Falcons notched their sixth multi-interception game of the season. Atlanta has posted a 6-0 record in those games and since 2008, the Falcons are 33-2 when they win the turnover battle.
  • This season, the Falcons have scored 79 points on 27 takeaways, including 10 points in Sunday's win over the Giants.
  • WR Harry Douglas enjoyed his best game of the season, catching three passes for 83 yards, including a pair of key third down receptions.
  • Atlanta's defense had one of its best outings of the season, not only shutting out the Giants but holding New York to 256 total yards. Under Coach Smith, the Falcons are 23-1 when they hold their opponent under 300 yards.
  • The defense was paced by LB Sean Weatherspoon, who posted nine tackles (six solo) and one quarterback hit. DE Kroy Biermann notched his fourth sack of the season, dragging Manning down for a two-yard loss. Biermann's four sacks rank second behind DE John Abraham (10.0) this season.
  • Entering Sunday's game against the Giants, the Falcons had allowed opponents to convert three of six fourth down attempts. Atlanta stopped New York on all three of its fourth down attempts en route to a shutout win in Week 15.
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