Notes & Milestones: Falcons vs. Vikings

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  • Head coach Mike Smith improved his overall record to 40-19 with the Falcons 24-14 win over the Vikings on Sunday afternoon. Under Smith, the Falcons are 8-2 against NFC North opponents and have won two straight games over Minnesota in his four seasons as a head coach.
  • Atlanta led 24-14 with 6:44 remaining in the game when WR Percy Harvin took a kickoff from seven yards deep in his own endzone all the way down to the Falcons three-yard line, racing 104 yards before being dragged down by CB Chris Owens.
  • Facing first-and-goal from their own three-yard line, the Birds defense stood their ground as they stopped the Vikings on four straight plays. Owens sacked QB Christian Ponder for a two-yard loss on first down. The defense stopped Harvin short on second and third down before LB Sean Weatherspoon stuffed RB Toby Gerhart on fourth down.
  • Weatherspoon also recorded his third sack of the season when he dragged down Ponder for a nine-yard loss in the second quarter. The sack pushed Minnesota back to its own 15 yard line and brought up a third down and 17 situation. The Vikings went on to punt and the Falcons scored on the ensuing drive.
  • The second-year linebacker out of Missouri finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles (seven solo), one sack, three tackles for loss and one quarterback hit. This season, Weatherspoon has racked up 101 total tackles (67 solo) and three sacks.
  • Atlanta opened the scoring on its second drive when QB Matt Ryan hit WR Matt Ryan for a 27-yard catch and run that resulted in a touchdown. The score capped a nine-play 80-yard drive that took up 5:39. This season, the Falcons rank among the league leaders in scoring on long drives as they entered the game with 84 points on 18 drives lasting five minutes or longer.
  • The touchdown was the first of the season for Douglas and the third of his career. The reception also put him over 1,000 career receiving yards. In his last three games, Douglas has posted 14 catches for 229 yards.
  • Ryan also hit WR Julio Jones for a six-yard touchdown later in the first half, marking his 83rd career TD pass, which ranks fourth in team history trailing Steve Bartkowski (157), Chris Chandler (87) and Chris Miller (87).
  • White has four touchdown catches this season and 41 in his career. His six-yard touchdown grab moved him into sole possession of third place on the team's all-time touchdown receptions list, passing WR Alfred Jenkins who posted 40 touchdown catches in his career. White trails Terance Mathis (57) and Andre Rison (56) in club annals.
  • The three-time Pro Bowler posted his second consecutive game with over 100 receiving yards, finishing the game with 120 yards on a season-high 10 catches. White has recorded three 100-plus yard games this season and owns the franchise record with 26 such games in his career.
  • Ryan finished the first half with a passer rating of 138.7, after completing 14 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, marking his highest quarterback rating at halftime this season. The fourth-year signal caller has thrown multiple touchdowns in four games this season, including three of the last four. The Falcons are 21-5 when Ryan throws two or more touchdown passes in a game during his career.
  • Ryan has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 straight games, which is the second longest stretch of his career, and has found a man in the endzone in 25 of his last 26 games.
  • Clinging to a 17-14 lead, Ryan drove the Falcons 73 yards in nine plays hitting TE Michael Palmer for a three-yard touchdown to push Atlanta's lead to 24-14 with 6:44 left in the game. Ryan has now thrown for three touchdowns in three games this season and he's accomplished the feat nine times in his career.
  • Ryan finished the game completing 27 of 34 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns with a season-high 128.2 passer rating, which is the fourth-highest single-game quarterback rating of his career. The Falcons are 20-0 when Ryan records a QB rating over 100.
  • Ryan's 79.4 completion percentage is the second-highest mark he's recorded in his career and the sixth-best rate in franchise history. Ryan tied the franchise record with an 85.7 completion percentage on 11/28/10 in a win over the Green Bay Packers.
  • TE Tony Gonzalez had one of his best games of the season, hauling in a season-high nine catches for 69 yards. The future Hall of Famer moved past WR Steve Largent (13,089) for 12th place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list with 13,093 career yards. He is 289 yards shy of moving into the top 10.
  • Gonzalez has 59 catches this season, marking the 14th time he's recorded 50-or-more catches in a season. He is one reception shy of posting his NFL record 13th season with 60-or-more catches. Gonzalez broke Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice's NFL record of 11 seasons last season.
  • DE Lawrence Sidbury had a career day posting two sacks to double his total for the season. He pulled down Ponder twice in the third quarter and added a pair of tackles. His four sacks this season are a career-high, and are tied for the team lead.
  • Both Gonzalez and White extended their streaks of consecutive games with a reception. Gonzalez has caught at least one pass in 174 straight games, while White has pulled in at least one catch in 79 consecutive games.
  • Atlanta's defense held the Vikings to just 64 yards on 24 carries on the ground. Through 11 games this season, the Falcons are allowing just 83.5 yards per game on the ground, which would be the second lowest average allowed in team history over a single season. The Falcons have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 consecutive games dating back to 2010.
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