Atlanta improves to 3-1 after driving 68 yards in 12 plays in the final minute-and-a-half to set up a game-winning field goal
K Matt Bryant hit a 43-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining in the game to lift the Falcons to a 16-14 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The kick was the 11th game-winner of Bryant's career and his second in a Falcons' uniform. It was also his second game-winning field goal in as many weeks after he kicked Atlanta to an overtime win over the Saints in Week 3.
WR Roddy White continues to show that he is one of the top receivers in the NFL. The sixth-year man caught seven passes for 104 yards, including a 20-yarder along the sideline on the Falcons final drive, pushing Atlanta into San Francisco territory and helping to set up the game-winning field goal. White's 104-yard total marked his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and the 18th of his career, improving on his own franchise record. White has also caught at least seven passes in three of the Falcons first four games and entering today's game he ranked second in the League in receptions.
Facing second-and-8 with two minutes remaining in the game, QB Matt Ryan hit White for a 19-yard gain. With that reception, White became just the fourth receiver in Falcons history to record over 5,000 receiving yards in a career. White ranks fourth on the Falcons all-time receiving list with 5,055 yards, behind Terance Mathis (7,349), Alfred Jenkins (6,267), and Andre Rison (5,633).
While White played a vital role the Falcons offensive success, his biggest contribution came after Ryan threw an interception with just 1:37 remaining in the game. San Francisco CB Nate Clements picked off Ryan and began racing toward the endzone, looking to secure a victory for the 49ers. White tracked down Clements and punched the ball loose at the Falcons seven-yard line where G Harvey Dahl recovered the fumble. With new life, the Falcons drove 68 yards in the final minute and a half to set up Bryant's game-winning field goal.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez hauled in seven passes for 41 yards, giving him 12,012 career receiving yards. Gonzalez became the first tight end and the 17th player in NFL history to record at least 12,000 career receiving yards.
WR Harry Douglas caught the second touchdown of his career and his first of the season on an eight-yard pass from QB Matt Ryan. It was Douglas' first touchdown reception since 11/30/08 when he pulled down a five-yard scoring strike against the San Diego Chargers. The touchdown capped a 12-play, 71-yard drive that cut the 49ers lead to seven. Douglas finished the game with three catches for 59 yards, his highest total of the season and the most yards he's had in a game since he pulled down five passes for 93 yards on 10/12/08 vs. the Chicago Bears.
Ryan completed 26-of-43 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. He improved his record at the Georgia Dome to an impressive 15-1 in his first three seasons. During that time, Ryan has been one of the League's best quarterbacks in domed stadiums. Ryan owns an NFL best 17-4 record when playing indoors and has completed 361 of 585 (62 percent) pass attempts for 4,473 yards and 28 touchdowns. In 2010, Ryan has thrown six touchdowns against three interceptions.
LB Curtis Lofton recorded his second sack of the season when he brought down 49ers QB Alex Smith for a seven yard loss on a first down play in the second quarter. Lofton continued his productive day, recording his first career interception in a crucial situation. The third-year pro picked off a pass intended for RB Frank Gore at the Falcons 33-yard line with the Niners driving the ball inside of the two-minute warning. The turnover led to an 11-play, 49-yard drive and set up a 37-yard Matt Bryant Field goal to cut San Francisco's lead to 14-10 at half time.
Lofton finished the game with nine total tackles (eight solo), one sack and one interception. He also helped anchor a defense that held the 49ers to just 81 yards on the ground. Since 2008, the Falcons are 13-2 when holding opponents under 100 yards rushing.
S William Moore notched his second interception of the season when he jumped a pass from Smith, intended for WR Josh Morgan. Moore returned the ball 13 yards to the Falcons 33, setting up the offense with good field position and leading to a 31-yard field goal by Bryant to cut the 49ers lead to one.
With a pair of 40-plus yard game-winning field goals in the last two games, Bryant is now three for four from that distance on the season. He also added 37 and 31 yarders to push his total to 10 for 11 (90.9 percent) this year.
The Birds improve to 3-1 with their 16-14 win over the 49ers. Since 2008, the Falcons own a 15-3 record at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta ranks tied for the League lead with Minnesota and New England in wins at home over the last three seasons.
The Falcons have suffered from a few lapses in 2010, resulting in big gain for the opposing offense. In Sunday's win over the 49ers the Falcons did not allow a single play of more than 19 yards.
After struggling to move the ball on their first two drives, the Birds used the no huddle offense to put together their first scoring drive. The drive included a 20-yard pass from Ryan to White and a pair of first down runs from RB Jason Snelling.