Falcons leap over Bears
The Falcons fought the Bears to another fantastic finish with a 21-14 victory at home on Sunday Night Football. The Falcons defense came through with a stop at their own 10-yard line with 30 seconds left to preserve the victory.
Matt Ryan led the way completing 19 of 33 passes for 185 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Michael Turner had 30 yards on 13 carries on the ground with a touchdown. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez shared the lead with 4 catches each for 56 and 52 yards, respectively. Both players snagged scores. Ryan spread the ball around as five other receivers had at least two grabs. The Falcons offense got off to a rocky start with three and outs on their first three drives. But they bounced back in the second quarter, as Ryan led them on two scoring drives to go up 14-7 at the half.
The Falcons defense gave up 373 yards, but was able to make stops and force turnovers at pivotal points in the game. They forced two Matt Forte fumbles at the goalline in the third quarter to prevent the Bears from tying the score. They intercepted Jay Cutler twice, the second of which allowed the offense to capitalize and get their first score. Curtis Lofton and Erik Coleman shared the lead with 9 tackles. Lofton also had a tackle for loss and forced a fumble. John Abraham (4 tackles, 0.5 sacks), Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble), Thomas DeCoud (5 tackles, 2 interceptions), Brent Grimes (4 tackles), Chris Houston (6 tackles), and Mike Peterson (6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defended) all had noteworthy performances.
Jason Elam had no field goal attempts on the evening. Michael Koenen had 5 punts for an average of 47.4 yards. Eric Weems had a good day as a returner, taking his lone punt return for 20 yards and also averaging 39 yards on 3 kickoff returns. That included a 62-yard return in the fourth quarter which set up the Falcons go ahead score. Coy Wire added 2 tackles on special teams, as well as recovering one of the team’s forced fumbles on defense.
Next week the Falcons travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys (3-2). The Falcons last matchup with the Cowboys was a 38-28 loss in 2006. Prior to that they won their last two matchups against the Cowboys.