All week, the Falcons preached about how, after knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions, Sunday's game against the 49ers wouldn't be a trap game. But with the Niners desperate at 0-3 for a win and nothing to lose, they came right at the Falcons with defensive pressure. In the end, however, the Falcons put together a masterful drive with the odds against them, and Roddy White and Matt Bryant sent the Georgia Dome crowd home with something to celebrate.
Matty Ice Part II
If Matt Bryant was lobbying to gain Matt Ryan's nickname of "Matty Ice," he sure has done enough to earn it. Two weeks in a row, Bryant has had the opportunity to either send the Falcons home with a win or a disappointment. Two weeks in a row, Bryant has stepped up and made winners of the Falcons. Facing a 43-yard field goal attempt with seconds left, Bryant nailed it to give the Falcons a 16-14 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The 'Ready to Rock' Show
Roddy White showed up to camp in the best shape of his entire career. Sunday showed the product of all that hard work. White, who sometimes calls himself the "Ready to Rock Show," has easily been one of the top performers for the Falcons this season, and he came up big late in Sunday's game. After a wild play that saw the Niners intercept a pass, fumble the return and then the Falcons recover, White caught four big passes on the next drive to get the Falcons within field goal range to set up the Bryant kick.
Ability to respond**
All season, the Falcons have shown a strong ability to respond after they get down. Sunday was no different. After going down 14-0 early, Matt Ryan led a long drive that spanned from the mid-first quarter into the second. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Harry Douglas. The Falcons had several opportunities to tie the game up, but had to settle for two Matt Bryant field goals before the third that proved to be the game-winner.
Ryan spent much of the afternoon scrambling and getting up off the ground, thanks to San Francisco's blitz pressure. The Niners were routinely sending extra men up the middle after Ryan, which significantly limited the amount of time that he had to find his receivers. Even when Ryan did complete a pass, he often found himself taking a hit.
Some more of Moore
Second-year safety William Moore has had a phenomenal run starting at safety while Erik Coleman was recovering from a knee injury. Coleman was active for Sunday's game, but Moore started at the position again. Aside from several big hits and clutch plays, Moore nabbed his second interception of the year — a pass thrown right into his numbers during the third quarter. Moore also came up with a huge pressure play late in the fourth quarter that resulted in an intentional grounding penalty on Niners quarterback Alex Smith.