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Notes & Milestones: Falcons vs. Packers


The Falcons drove 20 yards on seven plays in the final 49 seconds to set up a game-winning 47-yard field goal Sunday to beat the Packers 20-17

Atlanta improves to 9-2 on the season with the win, marking the first time in franchise history the team has posted three consecutive winning seasons. The Falcons have also won a season-high five straight games and improved to a perfect 6-0 at the Georgia Dome this season.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed four of five passes on the game's final drive to set up K Matt Bryant's game-winning 47-yard field goal. It was Ryan's 12th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime and the fifth time this season that Ryan has led the Birds to a game-winning score in either the fourth quarter or overtime.

With his 47-yard game-winning kick, Bryant recorded his 12th career game-winning field goal and his third as a Falcon. The ninth-year pro has now kicked the Falcons to victory three times this season, including an overtime winner in New Orleans and late fourth quarter kick against the 49ers at home. In addition to the game-winner, Bryant also added a 38 yarder. On the season, he has connected on 24-of-27 field goal attempts.

The Falcons have turned the ball over an NFC-low 10 times this season and ranked third in the NFL in giveaways entering today's game. Atlanta has not had a turnover in a franchise-record four straight games. The team's previous best was three straight games, Weeks 11, 12 and 13 of the 2006 season. In the last four games the Falcons have posted a plus-six turnover differential, resulting in four wins.

Under head coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 19-3 at the Dome and 29-14 overall. Smith's Falcons also improved to 24-1 when they hold the lead at halftime. In 2010, the Falcons are 6-0 in such games.

In a matchup of two marquee young quarterbacks, Ryan completed 24-of-28 pass attempts for a career-high 86 percent completion rate, 198 yards and one touchdown. The third-year QB also recorded his third straight game with a passer rating over 100 as he posted a 108.0 mark. Since he became the starter in 2008, the Falcons are 15-0 when Ryan accomplishes that feat, including a 5-0 mark this season.

Atlanta drove 55-yards on 10 plays on the game's opening drive to set up a 38-yard field goal by Bryant to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead. The Birds have scored 24 points on their first offensive possessions this season which is tied for fifth in the NFL. Under Smith, Atlanta has totaled 101 points on their opening drives in the last three seasons, a mark that ranks third in the NFC during that time.

With a 14-yard catch on the Falcons opening drive, WR Roddy White became the 12th wide out in NFL history to record four consecutive seasons with at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards. White went over the 1,000-yard mark in Atlanta's Week 11 win at St. Louis. The two-time Pro Bowler is on pace for 122 catches, 1,550 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

White finished the game with five catches for 49 yards, including a nine-yard pickup on the Falcons final drive of the game. The sixth-year pro has caught at least four passes in all 11 games this season.

The Packers looked to take their first lead of the day when LB Curtis Lofton forced Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to fumble in the endzone, which was recovered by LB Mike Peterson. It was Lofton's third forced fumble of the season and the first turnover committed by the Packers since Week 7.

On the ensuing possession, the Falcons drove 80 yards on 14 plays for the go-ahead touchdown. Ryan hit TE Tony Gonzalez for a four-yard touchdown to put Atlanta up 10-3 at halftime. The catch was Gonzalez's fourth score of the season and his 10th TD as a Falcon.

With Gonzalez's four-yard touchdown catch, he passed WR Jimmy Smith (12,287) for 15th on the NFL's all-time receiving list. Gonzalez finished the game with six catches for 51 yards. He now has 12,306 career receiving yards and trails Art Monk (12,721) by 415 yards for a share of 14th place in League annals.

The scoring strike was Ryan's 19th touchdown pass of the season and marked the 10th straight game that he has thrown a touchdown, an ongoing personal best. The Falcons are 26-7 when Ryan finds a man in the endzone at least once.

Gonzalez has recorded 86 career touchdown receptions. He sits one TD catch shy of tying WR Andre Reed (87) for 11th in league history.

Rodgers tied the game at 10 in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. It was the first rushing touchdown the Falcons defense has allowed inside the red zone all season long. Atlanta has allowed the fewest red zone rushing touchdowns in the NFL and has allowed just four rushing touchdowns overall.

RB Michael Turner gave the Falcons a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, when he punched in a 1-yard touchdown on fourth and goal. It was Turner's seventh touchdown of the season and his sixth touchdown in the last five games. Since joining the Falcons as a free agent in 2008, Turner has rushed for 34 touchdowns. His touchdown total ranks second in the NFL among running backs during that time, behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

Turner finished the game with 110 yards on 23 carries, one touchdown and 4.8 yards per carry. It was Turner's sixth 100-yard game of the season and the fourth time in the last five games that he has broken the century mark. The seventh-year player has also posted back-to-back 100-yard games for the second time this season after running for 131 yards in Atlanta's Week 11 win at St. Louis. Turner has now run for 100-or-more yards 18 times as a Falcon.

DE John Abraham recorded his team-leading ninth sack of the season when he dragged down Rodgers for a five yard loss on a first and goal play on the Packers final drive. Since arriving in Atlanta in 2006, Abraham has posted 46.0 sacks which ranks fifth in franchise history. He trails John Zook by 1.0 sack for fourth place on that list. Despite missing one game because of injury, Abraham has recorded at least one sack in six games this season.

Voted one of the top defensive ends of the last decade, Abraham has notched 98.5 sacks in his career. Among active players, the two-time Pro Bowler ranks second behind LB Jason Taylor who has tallied 131.5 sacks in his career.

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