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Notes & Milestones: Falcons at Lions


  • With a 2-yard reception in the second quarter, TE Tony Gonzalez moved into second place on the NFL's all-time receptions list with 1,103 career receptions, passing WR Marvin Harrison (1,102). Gonzalez is one of just four players to record 1,100-or-more career catches. WR Jerry Rice is the NFL's all-time leader in receptions with 1,549.
  • Gonzalez finished the game with five catches for 62 yards, running his career yardage total to 12,843 yards and moving him past WR Irving Fryar (12,785) for 13th place on the NFL's all-time reception yardage list.
  • With the win, Atlanta improved to 4-3 on the season heading into its bye week. The Falcons also improved to 20-8 in games decided by eight-point- or less under head coach Mike Smith. This season, the Falcons own a 3-1 record in close games.
  • The Falcons held a 20-16 lead entering the fourth quarter and improved to 28-1 in those situations under Smith. The Falcons also improved to 31-2 when leading at halftime since 2008.
  • QB Matt Ryan recorded his second consecutive game with a rushing touchdown. Ryan scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak for the Falcons' first touchdown of the day. His two scores on the ground this season are a career-high and he now has four rushing touchdowns for his four-year career.
  • Since 2008, Ryan owns an NFL-best 26-6 record in games played in domed stadiums. He also leads the league with a 29-8 mark in games played on artificial turf.
  • Ryan's score was setup by a pass interference penalty in the end zone, giving Atlanta the ball on the Lions one-yard line. This season, Atlanta has scored an NFL-best 12 touchdowns in 13 drives where it has had a first-and-goal from inside the opponents five-yard line.
  • Ryan also threw for a touchdown for the sixth consecutive game, finding WR Roddy White for an 18-yard touchdown with just 25 seconds remaining in the first half. Atlanta is 34-10 when Ryan throws at least one touchdown pass and he has found a man in the endzone at least once in 23 of his last 25 games.
  • The touchdown pass was the 75th of Ryan's career. He currently ranks fourth in team history behind Steve Bartkowski (154), Chris Chandler (87) and Chris Miller (87).
  • White caught his third touchdown of the season and finished the game with five receptions for 52 yards and one score.
  • RB Michael Turner rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries en route to posting the 23rd 100-yard game of his Falcons career. Turner's 23 100-yard games put him in front of RB William Andrews (22) for second-most in team history, and he trails RB Gerald Riggs' franchise record of 24 100-yard games by one.
  • This season, Turner has run for 621 yards and has posted three runs of 50-or-more yards, including a 50-yarder in Sunday's win over the Lions.
  • On the Lions second offensive possession of the game, DE John Abraham sacked QB Matthew Stafford. This season, Abraham has three sacks and he has run his career total to 105.5, which ranks 19th in NFL history. Abraham has 52.0 sacks as a Falcon, which ranks fourth in team history.
  • On the next play, LB Sean Weatherspoon also sacked Stafford, eventually forcing the Lions to settle for a field goal after taking possession at the Falcons 15-yard line. This season, the Falcons have been one of the NFL's best teams when it comes to red zone defense. Atlanta's defense has allowed just 10 touchdowns in 27 red zone possessions.
  • With a season-high three field goals, K Matt Bryant has now hit 27 straight field goals, dating back to 2010. With a 47-yarder in the third quarter, Bryan set a new franchise record for the most consecutive field goals made in team history. He passed K Norm Johnson, who connected on 26 straight from 1992-93.
  • LB Akeem Dent forced Lions kick returner Stefan Logan to fumble on a kickoff return, marking the 26th straight game in which Atlanta has forced a turnover, which is the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest since Chicago forced a takeaway in 25 consecutive games between 2007 and 2008.
  • Atlanta's defense held the explosive Lions offense to minus-1 yard of total offense in the game's first quarter. It took five possessions before Detroit was able to gain positive yards. The Falcons held the Lions to 263 total yards in the game.
  • After RB Maurice Morris rolled off a 31-yard run down to the Falcons six-yard line, DT Corey Peters sacked Stafford for a 10-yard loss on third and goal to force the Lions to settle for a field goal.
  • The Falcons impressive defensive performance was punctuated by the fact that they did not allow the Lions to convert a third down until the 2:27 mark of the third quarter. Atlanta held Detroit to a season-best one for 12 on third down attempts, surrendering a first down on just eight percent of their attempts.
  • LB Curtis Lofton paced the defense with 10 tackles (five solo), marking his fifth double-digit tackle game of the season and the 24th time in his career that he has posted 10-or-more tackles.
  • Despite allowing the Lions to run for 104 yards in Sunday's game, Atlanta has not allowed an individual running back to run for 100 yards in 10 consecutive games dating back to 2010.
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