Falcons stomp 49ers
It was a record-setting day all around for the Falcons as they shellacked their old rivals, the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 45-10 on the road. The Falcons went up to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the 49ers brought it back to 14-10. But in the second quarter, the Falcons managed to score 21 points in under 6 minutes and never looked back. Their 35 first half points set a new franchise record.
Matt Ryan led with a career high 329 passing yards, completing 22 of 32 attempts for 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for a 1-yard score. Michael Turner led the team on the ground with 22 carries for 97 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jerious Norwood added 12 carries for 44 yards. Roddy White led receivers with 8 receptions for 210 yards and 2 scores. His 210 receiving yards set a new record for single game record for the Falcons. Tony Gonzalez added 6 catches for 55 yards as well. The Falcons offense gained 340 of its 477 total yards in the first half, and then controlled time of possession in the second half to prevent the 49ers from getting back into the game. They held onto the ball for nearly twenty minutes in the second half.
The Falcons defense had a strong performance, limiting the 49ers offense to only 279 total yards. Shaun Hill was sacked 3 times and picked off once. The interception came on the 49ers opening drive, which led to the team’s first score. They limited 49ers running backs to only 47 yards on 13 carries. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 9 tackles. John Abraham (3 tackles, 1 sack), Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles), Kroy Biermann (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery), Erik Coleman (5 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (4 tackles), Brent Grimes (2 tackles), Thomas Johnson (1 tackle, 1 sack), and Brian Williams (3 tackles, 1 interception) had noteworthy games.
Jason Elam made his lone 40-yard field goal. Michael Koenen averaged 40.5 yards on 4 punts, including 1 inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems averaged 19.5 yards on 2 kickoff returns and 4.5 yards on 4 punt returns.
The Falcons will host the Chicago Bears nex week on Sunday night football. The Bears are coming off a bye, and the Falcons will host three more teams coming off bye weeks over their next six games. The Falcons last matchup with the Bears was a memorable finish last season in which the Falcons won 22-20. But previously, the team had lost 8 of their last 9 matchups against the Bears, including 3 of their last 4 at home.