Notes & Milestones: Falcons at Giants

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Atlanta qualified for the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history, but dropped its playoff opener to the NFC East Champion Giants.

  • Atlanta dropped its playoff opener 24-2 to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. After going 10-6 in the regular season, the Falcons earned a playoff berth for the second consecutive season, marking a franchise first. Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Birds have notched at least 10 wins in three of the last four seasons. Smith is the only coach in team history to record multiple seasons with 10-or-more wins.
  • DE Vic Beasley Jr. recorded his fourth career postseason sack when he dragged down QB Eli Manning for an eight-yard loss on the Giants second offensive possession. The sack helped the Falcons defense force a three and out. In 2011, the Abraham totaled a team-high 9.5 sacks. His 58.5 sacks as a member of the Falcons are the second-most in team history.
  • S James Sanders blitzed Manning and forced him to try to throw the ball away. With no receiver in the area and Manning inside the tackle box in the endzone, the play was ruled intentional grounding and Atlanta was awarded a safety. It was the Falcons first postseason safety since 1/5/05 against St. Louis in a Divisional Playoff matchup.
  • QB Matt Ryan finished the game completing 24 of 41 pass attempts for 199 yards. It was the first time since the season opener that Ryan failed to throw a touchdown pass. He finished the regular season with a franchise record 4,177 passing yards and a career-high 29 touchdown passes.
  • WR Julio Jones caught five passes for 52 yards, including a 21-yard reception. In his career, White has posted 22 receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns in three postseason games. He finished the regular season with 100 catches for 1,296 yards and eight touchdowns, and became the first Falcon in franchise history to post two seasons with 100-or-more receptions. Additionally, he is the team's all-time leading receiver with 7,374 career yards.
  • Rookie WR Julio Jones concluded his impressive rookie campaign with a solid performance against the Giants. Jones caught seven passes for a team-high 64 yards. He also added a 13-yard rush. Jones was the most prolific rookie in team history, finishing the regular season with 54 receptions for 959 yards and eight touchdowns and earned NFC Rookie of the Month honors for the final month of the season.
  • Defensively, Atlanta was paced by linebackers Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon. Lofton collared 12 tackles (nine solo), while Weatherspoon had 12 stops (six solo) and added a pair of quarterback hits.
  • During the regular season, Lofton posted a career-high 167 tackles (101 solo) and helped make Atlanta one of the best run stopping units in the League.
  • Weatherspoon had a breakout second-year for the Falcons as he notched 127 tackles (86 solo), four sacks, one fumble recovery and eight passes defensed. He also led the team with 14 tackles for loss.
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