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Notes & Milestones: Falcons at Panthers


  • Atlanta overcame a 23-7 halftime deficit to improve to 8-5 on the season and keep its place in the NFC playoff race. Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith owns a 6-2 record against the Panthers in his four seasons at the helm. Additionally, Atlanta holds a 22-12 edge over Carolina in the all-time series.
  • With the win, Atlanta improved to 17-3 after a loss under Smith. Since 2008, The Falcons .850 winning percentage in games following a loss is the second best in the NFL, trailing only the New England Patriots (.867).
  • The Falcons defense pitched a second-half shutout and their offense scored 24 unanswered points in the final 30 minutes of the game to record the fourth-largest comeback in team history (16 points).
  • The score was Ryan's third touchdown of the day and marked the 16th time that he has led the team on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career. Additionally, the fourth-year signal caller threw for three-or-more touchdowns for the third time this season.
  • After Panthers K Olindo Mare missed a 36-yard field goal, Ryan hit Jones for a 75-yard touchdown. Ryan tied a career-high with four touchdown passes and moved into second place in Falcons history with 89 career touchdowns. Ryan passed Chris Chandler and Chris Miller, who each tossed 87 touchdowns during their Falcons' careers.
  • Jones caught three passes for 104 yards with two touchdowns, marking the second time the rookie has caught a pair of touchdowns in a game and the fourth time he's posted over 100 receiving yards.
  • Jones is the second rookie in NFL history with 100-plus receiving yards, a 30-yard per catch average, and two TD catches in two different games. The last NFL player to accomplish that feat was Minnesota Vikings WR Randy Moss in 1998.
  • Ryan finished the game completing 22 of 38 pass attempts for 320 yards and four touchdowns with a passer rating of 120.5. It was the fifth time this season that he has thrown for 300-plus yards and the fifth time his quarterback rating was above 100. Since 2008, the Falcons are 21-0 when Ryan eclipses the 100-point QB mark.
  • Ryan has thrown at least one touchdown in 12 straight games, including 27 of his last 28. Atlanta is 22-5 when he throws multiple touchdowns and 38-12 when he finds the end zone at least once.
  • ·TE Tony Gonzalez continued his rise through the NFL record books, passing WR Andre Reed for 11th on the League's all-time receiving list with an 18-yard reception in the first quarter. Gonzalez finished the game with seven catches for 82 yards and now has 13,275 career yards. Reed posted 13,198 yards in 16 seasons and Gonzalez now sits 108 yards away from passing WR Tory Holt and moving into the top 10.
  • On the Falcons second offensive possession, Ryan drove the offense 62 yards in 10 plays, hitting WR Roddy White in the back corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. It was the 16th time in 18 tries that Atlanta has scored a touchdown when the offense has had a first and goal from inside the opponent's five-yard line.
  • The score was White's sixth touchdown catch of the season and the 43rd of his career. The three-time Pro Bowler has hauled in a touchdown pass in three straight games and he has posted four consecutive seasons with at least six touchdown receptions.
  • White had four catches on the drive giving him 502 career receptions. He is the second player in team history to record 500-or-more catches in a career. He finished the game with seven catches for 84 yards with one touchdown. He now has 505 career receptions and trails Terance Mathis (573) for the club's all-time lead.
  • After K Matt Bryant hit a 30-yard field goal to cut the Panthers lead to 13 points, DE John Abraham and DT Corey Peters pressured Newton and forced him to try and flip the ball to RB Jonathan Stewart. LB Mike Peterson jumped in front of Stewart and intercepted the pass. It was Peterson's first interception of the season and his 19th career pick.
  • On the ensuing drive, Ryan hit rookie RB Jacquizz Rodgers for a 31-yard touchdown pass on a wheel route which cut Carolina's lead to 23-17. It was the first time the fifth round draft pick from Oregon State has found the end zone this season and the eighth different receiver that Ryan has thrown a touchdown to.
  • The Falcons intercepted Newton on back-to-back drives when S William Moore picked off an over thrown ball and returned it 26 yards on the following Carolina drive. Moore has two interceptions this season and seven in his three-year career. His last pick came against Tampa Bay in Week 3.
  • Despite failing to convert Moore's interception into points, the Falcons have scored 65 points on their 20 takeaways this season, including seven points off of two takeaways against the Panthers on Sunday. This season, the Falcons have forced 20 turnovers, including 13 interceptions.
  • Defensively, the Falcons were paced by second-year linebacker Sean Weatherspoon who collared nine total tackles (eight solo). He also added one sack, dragging down Newton for a six-yard loss. Weatherspoon notched a pair of tackles for loss, including a key stop behind the line of scrimmage on a third down and two yards to go play in the fourth quarter.
  • This season, Weatherspoon ranks second on the team with 118 total tackles (81 solo) and four sacks. He also leads the team with 13 tackles for loss in 13 games.
  • DE Ray Edwards notched his third sack of the season when he brought down Newton for an 11-yard loss on the Panthers first offensive possession. Two of Edwards three sacks have come against the elusive Newton, as the first-year Falcon brought him down in Atlanta's Week 6 win over Carolina as well.
  • RB Michael Turner finished the game with 76 yards on 21 carries giving him 1,068 yards for the season. Turner went over the 1,000 yard mark on Atlanta's first touchdown drive and has now run for more than 1,000 yards in three of his four seasons in Atlanta, including each of the last two.
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