Blazing the Path
Running back Michael Turner has been the steady, consistent cog in the Falcons offense this season — hardly a departure from any of his previous seasons. But this year, you can just feel something about the way Turner plays the game that says he's completely comfortable carrying the load of the team. Turner scorched the turf for 100 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown Sunday for another impressive performance, but perhaps it's not what's in the statbook that's most impressive about Turner's play Sunday. Turner played with an abandon that we've come accustomed to seeing from him, but with even more ruthlessness. Turner will be sending some Titans home to the medicine cabinet after some of the hits he delivered Sunday.
Same Ol' Tony
For anyone else, it may be a negative thing to be referred to as the same old thing, but for Tony Gonzalez, it means he once again turned in a high level performance. Gonzalez was integral on the Falcons' first drive of the game, catching two passes that set up his own 17-yard touchdown catch to get the scoring started. Gonzalez is again having a career season as a 14-yard catch during Sunday's game put him over 13,000 receiving yards for his career — only the 13th player in NFL history to accomplish that feat.
Here's To You, Mr. Robinson
Falcons CB Dunta Robinson's contributions to the defense are often not seen in the statbook. As a general rule, opposing quarterbacks don't target his side a whole lot, which often leaves the veteran CB out of the top stats at his position. On Sunday, Robinson snagged his second interception with the Falcons and first of the season on a beautiful dive to catch an underthrown Matt Hasselbeck pass. Robinson got up, quickly dusted himself off and took off for a 14-yard return before giving the ball to the Falcons offense.
Ground to a Halt
He's one of the most dangerous and destructive running backs in the league, but Titans RB Chris Johnson has been spinning his tires, trying to get consistent this season. Consistency was nowhere to be found for the Titans' running game against the Falcons. Earlier this week, Falcons MLB Curtis Lofton said that the linebacking corps takes it personally when teams try to run on them, and that's clear by the Falcons ranking near the top of the league in run defense. On Sunday, the Falcons held Johnson to just 13 yards on 12 carries.
Johnathan Babineaux had the type of game defensive tackles dream about. Of course, he was facing his brother, Jordan — a safety for the Titans — for the fourth time in their NFL careers, but the performance Jonathan put on had him saying "no" to the Titans offense all day. Babineaux had two tackles for loss during the first two Titans drives, helping to limit Johnson's output, and he followed it up with a couple of pass deflections. Babineaux is often an unsung hero of the Falcons' defense, but on Sunday, he was front and center. Literally.