Roddy shines in Bills rout
Matt Ryan led the way with 250 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, completing 18 of 35 passes. Jason Snelling led rushers with 68 yards on 15 carries. Jerious Norwood added 52 yards on 13 carries. Roddy White led receivers with 8 catches for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. Marty Booker added 4 catches for 57 yards and a score. The Falcons offense was able to convert half of their 16 third down attempts and also 3 of 4 fourth down attempts. Injuries to both Michael Koenen and Matt Bryant forced the team to go for it on several fourth downs instead of going for a field goal or punting.
Defensively, the Falcons were able to force three Bills turnovers and limited their offense to 40 yards on the ground and 146 in the air, their best outing of the season. It was the lowest total offensive output for a Falcons opponent since a 77-yard effort by the Oakland Raiders in November 2008. The defense even got a touchdown from them. The Bills offense was led by a first-time starting quarterback in Brian Brohm, and it showed as they were able to only convert 1 of 10 third down attempts. Brent Grimes led defenders with 9 tackles and had an interception. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack), Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles, 1 sack), Kroy Biermann (2 tackles), Erik Coleman (7 tackles), Chauncey Davis (1 tackle, 1 forced fumble), Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles), Chris Owens (3 tackles, 1 interception), Mike Peterson (6 tackles), and Coy Wire (2 tackles) had noteworthy games. Lawrence Sidbury ran in Davis’ forced fumble for 11 yards for the defensive score.
Matt Bryant hit on 1 of 2 field goal attempts, making a 51-yarder. But a 55-yarder was blocked in the closing seconds of the first half and ran back for a touchdown. However, after a review by the officials, the touchdown was overturned due to a runner being down by contact prior to a lateral. Punter Michael Koenen was injured on the play. But beforehand Koenen punted 3 times for an average of 43.3 yards with 1 inside the 20. Koenen was replaced by Bryant who had 1 punt for 36 yards. But afterwards the Falcons decided to go for it on all fourth downs. Eric Weems returned 2 kickoffs for 52 total yards and 7 punts for an average of 10.8 yards. Also with injuries to both specialists, defensive end Kroy Biermann was forced into action as a kickoff specialist.
The Falcons will finish up their season next week on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-12). The Falcons beat the Bucs in Week 12 in a hard fought 20-17 victory sans Matt Ryan. The Bucs are coming off a two-game winning streak as are the Falcons. If the Falcons win, they will break their 43-year streak of not having consecutive winning seasons. A loss results in that streak extending for at least another year.