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Notes & Milestones: Falcons vs. Saints


  • With 7:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Falcons trailed 23-13 and had the ball on their own 19-yard line. Ryan and the offense covered the 81 yards in nine plays, hitting TE Tony Gonzalez for a 20-yard touchdown with 4:18 left on the clock to cut the Saints lead to three points.
  • Gonzalez now has six touchdowns on the season and a staggering 94 in his career. He has caught a touchdown in back-to-back games three times this season, including scores in five of the last eight games. Gonzalez has now caught six touchdown passes in each of his three seasons with the Birds, and this marks the 12th time in his career that he has posted at least five touchdown grabs.
  • In 41 games with the Falcons, Gonzalez has 18 touchdown receptions, which ranks third in franchise history among tight ends behind Alge Crumpler (35) and Jim Mitchell (28).
  • Following a failed onside kick attempt, the Falcons defense stopped the Saints at Atlanta's 27-yard line and a holding call on the ensuing field goal attempt pushed New Orleans out of kicking range. After a punt, the Falcons took over on their own six-yard line with 1:55 left in the game. Ryan once again led the offense down the field putting together a 13 play, 85-yard drive that included three 20-plus yard passes to WR Harry Douglas.
  • Douglas was instrumental on the Falcons final drive of regulation catching three of the four passes thrown his way and doubling his receiving yardage total for the game. The fourth year receiver out of Louisville finished the game with a career-high eight catches for 133 yards. He is the third Falcon receiver to have a game with 100-or-more yards through the air, joining WR Roddy White and WR Julio Jones.
  • Atlanta's final drive set up K Matt Bryant for a 27-yard game-tying field goal attempt. He made the kick, his third of the game, and sent the teams into overtime tied at 23-23. Bryant finished the game hitting three of his four field goal attempts, including kicks of 36 and 29 yards before having his franchise record of 30 consecutive made field goals snapped when he missed a 41-yard attempt going into halftime.
  • Ryan finished the game with a career-high 351 yards with two touchdowns. He also posted a career high with 52 attempts and notched his second most completions in a game with 29. Ryan's two touchdown passes give him 14 for the season and 80 for his career. In four seasons under center, Ryan already ranks fourth on the team's all-time touchdown passing list behind Steve Bartkowski (154), Chris Chandler (87) and Chris Miller (87). His 12,364 career passing yards also rank fourth in club annals.
  • RB Jason Snelling scored his first touchdown of the season, fighting through tacklers for the final 10 yards of a 21-yard catch-and-run after a short throw from Ryan. The score was the fifth receiving touchdown of his career and his 12th total TD as a Falcon. In 2010, Snelling caught 44 passes for 303 yards with a career high-three touchdowns. He also rushed for 324 yards on 87 carries.
  • The Falcons used their signature clock killing offense to maintain possession, owning a 6-minute, 30-second advantage over the Saints in time of possession. Atlanta held the ball for 36:32 while the Saints managed 30:02 with the ball.
  • This season, the Falcons have been one of the NFL's best teams in terms of clock killing drives. The Falcons have posted 78 points on 15 drives lasting five minutes or longer, including three scores on three such drives in Sunday's game. Additionally, Atlanta has scored on 14 of its 15 five-plus minute drives.
  • One of the reasons for the Falcons success in sustaining long drives has been the play of RB Michael Turner. Turner finished the game with 96 yards on 22 carries, leading the Birds offense to a 138 yard output in the running game. Rookie RB Jacquizz Rodgers also added 30 yards on seven carries.
  • Defensively, Atlanta held the Saints to just 41 rushing yards on 16 carries marking the 12th consecutive game the team has not allowed a 100-yard rusher dating back to 2010. The Falcons also held explosive RB Darren Sproles to just three yards on six touches, including one yard on two carries and two yards on four receptions.
  • Atlanta had its streak of games with a takeaway snapped at 27 after failing to force a Saints turnover. The Falcons streak was the longest active streak in the League and was the longest in the NFL since the Bears posted 25 straight games with a takeaway between 2007 and 2008.
  • LB Curtis Lofton paced the Falcons defense with nine total tackles (six solo), including one tackle for loss. Lofton has collared 99 tackles this season, including six games with 10-or-more stops.
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