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Falcons squeeze past Cowboys on Sunday Night

November 5th, 2012 Comments off
Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

Rodgers runs for a gain

The Falcons won scrappily over the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 19-13 on Sunday Night Football to push their 2012 record to 8-0. The offense got off to a sluggish start, but the Falcons were able to take the lead at the start of the fourth quarter and show their resiliency.

Matt Ryan was sharp, completing 24 of 34 passes for 342 yards. He was held without a touchdown, snapping a 22-game streak in which he threw at least one touchdown pass. Michael Turner led rushers with 102 yards on the ground on 20 carries and the team’s lone touchdown. Roddy White led receivers with 7 catches for 118 yards. Julio Jones also had a big game with 129 yards and 5 catches. Jacquizz Rodgers (4 catches, 53 yards) and Tony Gonzalez (4 catches, 36 yards) also contributed in the passing game. Matt Bryant was unusually erratic with his accuracy on the evening, missing two of five attempts. But he managed to connect on field goals of 45, 46, 36, and finally a 32-yarder that sealed the win near the end of regulation. Matt Bosher had a pair of punts for an average of 40 yards, including one inside the 20-yard line. Jacquizz Rodgers returned a pair of kickoffs for an average of 22.5 yards, while Dominique Franks had a pair of punt returns for a combined 6 yards. Offensively, the Falcons were sharp on third downs, converting on 7 of their 14 tries with some critical ones down the stretch. The running game really took off in the second half, with 100 of the 123 total rushing yards gained in that half.

Defensively, the Falcons did a good job getting off the field on third downs and keeping the Cowboys out of the endzone on their redzone trips. They forced the Cowboys to settle for field goals on their two redzone trips in the first quarter. And Dallas only converted 3 of 10 third downs the entire game. The run defense was improved, giving up only 65 yards on 18 carries for the game. Jonathan Babineaux and Akeem Dent shared the team lead in tackles with 7 each. Babineaux also added a sack and a pass deflection. Dent too had a pass deflection. Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles); Robert McClain (6 tackles); William Moore (4 tackles); Stephen Nicholas (4 tackles); Dunta Robinson (4 tackles); and Asante Samuel (3 tackles) all had notable games.

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Falcons streak past Eagles

October 28th, 2012 1 comment
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Jones runs by defenders for TD

The Falcons extend their record to 7-0 with a 30-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons built an early lead, and pretty much were on cruise control for most of the day as the Eagles struggled to find a rhythm and made a lot of mental errors. Mike Smith pushes his post-bye record to 4-1, and gets revenge for his lone loss suffered against the Eagles in 2008. This win also snaps the Eagles post-bye win streak of 13 games under Andy Reid. Mike Smith has now won 50 games with the Falcons, making him the winningest coach in franchise history, passing Dan Reeves (1997-2003) with 49 wins.

Matt Ryan had another brilliant performance, completing 22 of 29 passes for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. On the ground, Jacquizz Rodgers led rushers with 60 yards on 8 carries, including a 43-yard run late in the game. Michael Turner added 58 yards on 24 carries. Julio Jones and Rodgers tied for the team lead with 5 receptions each. Jones had 123 yards and a score, while Rodgers contributed 20 yards in the passing game. Roddy White (3 catches, 38 yards), Tony Gonzalez (3 catches, 29 yards), and Jason Snelling (3 catches, 16 yards, 1 touchdown) also made contributions. D.J. Davis caught his first two passes of his NFL career for 30 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown to start the game for the Falcons. Matt Bryant connected on 3 field goal tries of 43, 29, and 30 yards. Matt Bosher was forced to punt only once, not coming until the fourth quarter which went for 52 yards. He had another punt attempt blocked. Rodgers returned a pair of kickoffs for a total of 30 yards, while Dominique Franks had a single punt return for 11 yards.

Defensively, the Falcons limited the Eagles to only 256 yards of total offense and were able to get to Michael Vick 3 times. Thomas DeCoud led defenders with 9 tackles, and he also recorded one of those sacks. John Abraham (3 tackles, 1 sack); Kroy Biermann (7 tackles, 1 sack); Robert McClain (6 tackles); William Moore (3 tackles, 1 forced fumble); Stephen Nicholas (5 tackles); Chris Owens (2 tackles); Dunta Robinson (2 tackles); and Sean Weatherspoon (6 tackles) all had noteworthy games.

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Bryant’s legs lifts Falcons over Raiders

October 14th, 2012 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Bryant and Bosher celebrate win

The Falcons extended their 2012 record to 6-0, the best in franchise history record, with a third consecutive comeback win in the fourth quarter over the Oakland Raiders 23-20. This time the heroics rested on the leg of Matt Bryant for the second time this season. Bryant hit a 55-yard field goal to win the game with a second left on the clock. It marked the longest kick during his stint with the Falcons.

Matt Ryan struggled early in this game, with three first half interceptions. He finished the game completing 24 of 37 passes for 249 yards with a touchdown. It snapped Ryan’s 9-game streak of having more touchdowns than interceptions in a game. On the ground, Michael Turner did not get much going finishing with 33 yards on 11 carries. Roddy White led receivers with 6 catches for 72 yards and Ryan’s only touchdown pass. Julio Jones (4 catches, 63 yards), Tony Gonzalez (4 catches, 42 yards), and Harry Douglas (5 catches, 37 yards) also contributed in the air. The Falcons offense struggled throughout the game, only converting 2 of 9 third downs and 286 total yards. Bryant made 3 of 4 field goals on the day. He missed his first attempt of 43 yards, but then made kicks of 41, 20, and finally 55 yards in the second half. Matt Bosher had 4 punts for an average of 52.8 yards with 2 inside the 20 yard line. Jacquizz Rodgers returned a single kickoff for 29 yards with Dominique Franks unable to return any punts.

Defensively, the Falcons kept the game close for the most part despite a struggling offense. While they did give up 474 yards to the Raiders, they were able to generate 3 turnovers, including a pick six by Asante Samuel which gave the Falcons a 20-13 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game. However, Oakland was able to respond with an 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive to tie it up with less than a minute remaining. Dunta Robinson and Sean Weatherspoon tied for the lead with 9 tackles each. John Abraham (5 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble); Jonathan Babineaux (5 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble); Kroy Biermann (3 tackles); Thomas DeCoud (5 tackles); Akeem Dent (8 tackles); Ray Edwards (2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); Robert McClain (2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); William Moore (6 tackles); and Asante Samuel (4 tackles, 1 interception) had notable games.

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Falcons rally for tough win in Washington

October 7th, 2012 1 comment
Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Teammates congratulate Jones on a TD

The Falcons managed a come from behind win over the Washington Redskins by a score of 24-17. It’s the second consecutive week in which the Falcons found themselves down early, but managed to pull out a victory. They push their record to 5-0, which is the best start in franchise history.

Matt Ryan was up and down early in the game, but finished completing 34 of 52 passes for 345 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. His completions and attempts matches career highs in both categories he set last December against the New Orleans Saints. On the ground, Michael Turner led rushers with 67 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown. Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones also added a score, catching 10 passes for 94 yards. Roddy White had 4 catches for 68 yards, while Harry Douglas made his name known with a pair of receptions for 34 yards. Matt Bryant made a 53-yard attempt, the longest in his tenure as a Falcon. Matt Bosher punted 6 times for an average of 48.8 yards with one placed inside the 20-yard line. In the return game, Jacquizz Rodgers returned a pair of kickoffs for 36 yards, and Dominique Franks had a pair of punt returns for only 2 yards total. The Falcons converted 9 of 17 third downs, and totaled 421 yards on offense. They also overwhelmed the Redskins on time of possession with 37 minutes to Washington’s 23, but could not quite finish many of their drives early to put points on the board.

Defensively, the Falcons were tough, limiting the Redskins from converting on only 1 of 9 third down attempts. Most of the Redskins offensive success came on the ground, as they allowed Alfred Morris to rush for 115 yards. But overall, they allowed 316 total yards. The defense was able to force two late interceptions which sealed the win for them. Sean Weatherspoon led defenders with 11 tackles. He also added a sack, and put a hit on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin that knocked him out of the game midway through the third quarter. John Abraham (1 pass defended, 1 quarterback hit); Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles, 0.5 sacks); Kroy Biermann (6 tackles, 1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles, 1 interception); William Moore (8 tackles); Stephen Nicholas (4 tackles); and Dunta Robinson (6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 interception) all had notable games.

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Falcons take down Panthers in Epic Win

September 30th, 2012 Comments off
Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

White catches 59-yard bomb to set up GW Field Goal.

The Falcons pulled a come from behind squeaker over the Carolina Panthers by a score of 30-28, extending their 2012 record to 4-0. Matt Bryant hit a game-winning 40 yard field goal with 10 seconds left, capping a long drive in the last minute of the game to steal the victory at home.

Matt Ryan had another strong performance despite being sacked 7 times on the day. He finished the game completing 25 of 40 passes for 369 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. His yardage total was just 4 yards shy of matching his career high. On the ground, Michael Turner had another strong performance for the second consecutive rushing for 103 yards on 13 carries (7.9 avg), his first 100-yard outing of the 2012 season. Turner also caught 3 passes for 68 yards, including a 60-yard score, the first receiving touchdown of his nine-year NFL career. Roddy White led receivers with 8 grabs for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez (5 catches, 51 yards) and Jacquizz Rodgers (4 catches, 40 yards) also contributed. Julio Jones was held in check for the most part, only catching 1 of 8 passes thrown his way, but it was for a big gain of 30 yards. Bryant made three field goal tries, from 41, 33, and 40 yards out. Matt Bosher punted 5 times for an average of 47 yards, with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Dominique Franks had a pair of punt returns for 17 yards, and Rodgers returned his lone kickoff for 27 yards. As mentioned earlier, the Falcons offensive line gave up 7 sacks. The Falcons have given up that many sacks in a game since September 2007 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Defensively, the Falcons did not have a strong performance, but were able to make some stops near the end of the game to turn the tide. Carolina put up 404 yards of total offense, the most given up this season. The Falcons also had their first game of the season where they did not intercept a pass, but they did force three fumbles. But they only managed to recover one. Stephen Nicholas led defenders with 8 tackles. John Abraham (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble); Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss); Thomas DeCoud (4 tackles); Akeem Dent (4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss); Ray Edwards (3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); William Moore (5 tackles); Dunta Robinson (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble); Vance Walker (3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble); and Sean Weatherspoon (4 tackles, 1 sack) all had notable games.

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Falcons smash Chargers

September 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Weatherspoon and Moore tackle Mathews

The Falcons pushed their record to 3-0 by taking down the undefeated San Diego Chargers with a 27-3 victory on the road. The Falcons got off to a strong start and never looked back, as the Chargers were scoreless through the first half of the game.

Matt Ryan had another strong performance, completing 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. On the ground, Michael Turner bounced back from a slow start this season by leading the team with 80 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Jacquizz Rodgers also added 10 rushes for 32 yards. In the air, Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 9 grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Rodgers each had 5 catches for 67, 55, and 35 yards respectively. Jones and Rodgers both caught Ryan’s other two touchdown passes. Matt Bryant did not attempt a field goal on the day. Matt Bosher punted 5 times for an average of 44.6 yards, with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Dominique Franks returned a pair of punts for an average of 17 yards. The Falcons offense had little issue moving the ball against the Chargers. They dominated time of possession, holding onto the ball for over 36 minutes compared to the Chargers’ 24. In the first half, the Falcons held the ball for over twice as long as the Chargers with nearly 20.5 minutes of possession. The offense finished 8 of 13 on third down conversions and put up 384 total yards.

Defensively, the Falcons were too much for the Chargers offense. The Chargers struggled to convert third downs, particularly in the first half where they were 0 for 3. They wound up finishing the game 5 of 11 on their third down conversion attempts. They were limited to 280 total yards and had four turnovers. Dunta Robinson led defenders with 7 tackles. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery);Dominique Franks (3 tackles); William Moore (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery); Stephen Nicholas (6 tackles); Asante Samuel (6 tackles); Vance Walker (4 tackles); and Sean Weatherspoon (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble) all had noteworthy performances.

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Defense stymies Broncos on Monday Night

September 18th, 2012 Comments off

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Spoon celebrates a defensive stop

The Falcons extended their record to 2-0 with a 27-21 win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. It marks the fifth straight season where the Falcons won their home opener under Mike Smith.

Matt Ryan had another strong performance, completing 24 of 36 passes for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also added 19 yards on 6 carries on the ground. Michael Turner led rushers with 42 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown but the Falcons ground attack was largely ineffective on the night. Roddy White had an impressive game, catching 8 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Tony Gonzalez also added a score, finishing the night with 7 catches for 70 yards. Harry Douglas (3 catches, 27 yards) and Julio Jones (4 catches, 14 yards) also contributed. Matt Bryant connected on a pair of field goals of 37 and 42 yards. Matt Bosher punted 6 times for an average of 42 yards, with half of his punts going inside the 20-yard line. The Falcons offense was able to generate 13 points off defensive turnovers, which allowed them to build an early lead. The team only finished with 275 total yards on offense.

Defensively, the Falcons were opportunistic, forcing four turnovers on the Broncos first five drives in the first quarter. Sean Weatherspoon led defenders with 10 tackles. He also recovered a fumble. Jonathan Babineaux (1 tackle, 1 sack); Kroy Biermann (5 tackles); Thomas DeCoud (5 tackles, 1 interception); Dominique Franks (6 tackles); Robert McClain (1 interception); William Moore (8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception); Stephen Nicholas (8 tackles, 1 forced fumble); Dunta Robinson (3 tackles, 2 passes defended); Asante Samuel (7 tackles); and Vance Walker (2 tackles, 1 sack) had noteworthy performances.

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Falcons rout Chiefs with 40-24 win

September 9th, 2012 Comments off
John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Ryan and Jones shine in win over Chiefs

The Falcons opened their 2012 regular season strongly with a 40-24 thumping of the Kansas City Chiefs on the road. It was the first opening day win for Mike Smith on the road in his tenure, and the third time in five seasons that the Falcons have begun their season with a win.

Matt Ryan had an excellent game, completing 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed for 25 yards on the ground on 3 carries with a rushing touchdown. Michael Turner led rushers with 32 yards on 11 carries, while Jacquizz Rodgers added 7 carries for 22 yards. Julio Jones and Roddy White led receivers, each with 6 catches for 108 and 87 yards, respectively. Jones caught 2 of Ryan’s touchdown passes, with Tony Gonzalez having the third. Gonzalez finished the game with 5 receptions for 53 yards. Harry Douglas also contributed with 3 catches for 32 yards. Matt Bryant connected on four field goal tries of 34, 21, 30, and 41 yards. Matt Bosher only had to punt a single time thanks to the success of the Falcons offensive attack, which went for 52 yards. Jacquizz Rodgers returned a pair of kickoffs for a total of 104 yards, including a 77-yarder that set up a Falcons score.

Defensively, the Falcons did not get off to a great start. The Chiefs scored 17 first half points, capping their first three drives with points. The Falcons gave up 292 of 410 total yards accumulated by the Chiefs in that half, including 96 yards on the ground. But they put the clamps down in the second half, able to generate three turnovers. Stephen Nicholas led defenders with 12 stops, and collecting one of the team’s interceptions, as well as a fumble recovery. John Abraham (3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble); Jonathan Babineaux (1 tackle, 1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (7 tackles); Ray Edwards (2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss); Brent Grimes (6 tackles); William Moore (7 tackles, 1 interception); Asante Samuel (3 tackles, 1 pass defended); and Sean Weatherspoon (7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defended) all had noteworthy performances.

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Falcons backups fall short against Jaguars

August 30th, 2012 Comments off
Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

Dominique Davis rolls out to throw

The Falcons dropped their fourth and final preseason game to the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 24-14. The game got off to a great start for the Falcons, going up 7-0 on the second play of the game. But from that point on, the Jaguars battled back to pull out the victory.

Dominique Davis got the start for the Falcons under center and played every snap. He finished the game, completing 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. On the ground, Antone Smith led the team with 33 yards on 12 carries. Dimitri Nance (4 carries, 25 yards) and Jacquizz Rodgers (5 carries, 24 yards, a touchdown) also had productive evenings on the ground. Smith also led the team in receiving with 3 catches for 40 yards. Kevin Cone caught the lone touchdown on a 49-yar scamper, ending his night with a pair of receptions for 64 yards. LaMark Brown (2 catches, 15 yards), Nance (2 catches, 12 yards), and Marcus Jackson (2 catches, 8 yards) also produced in the passing game. Matt Bryant had no field goal attempts on the night. Matt Bosher had a good night as he punted 7 times for an average of 47.3 yards with 3 placed inside the 20-yard line. James Rodgers returned a single kickoff for 27 yards, while Tim Toone and Dominique Franks each had a punt return for 8 and 4 yards, respectively.

Defensively, the Falcons backups played most of the game and had their struggles to get off the field at times. While the Jaguars only converted 4 of 13 third downs, they won time of possession by holding the ball for 11 more minutes than the Falcons did. Pat Schiller and Akeem Dent led the team in tackles, each with 8 stops. Dominique Franks (5 tackles, 1 INT); Robert James (3 tackles); Jonathan Massaquoi (4 tackles); Cliff Matthews (4 tackles, 1 forced fumble); Robert McClain (3 tackles); Charles Mitchell (5 tackles); Peyton Thompson (5 tackles); and Vance Walker (1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery) all had noteworthy nights.

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Falcons soar above Dolphins

August 24th, 2012 Comments off
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Roddy White catches a TD

The Falcons got their first preseason win of 2012 by taking down the Miami Dolphins 23-6. The Falcons had seven straight preseason games, their last victory being a road win over the Dolphins on August 27, 2010.

Matt Ryan had another solid performance, completing 18 of 26 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown. Dominique Davis had another impressive night in limited work, completing 2 of 3 passes for 53 yards and a score of his own. Chris Redman had 36 passing yards on 4 of 7 passing. Michael Turner led rushers with his most extensive work, getting 35 yards on the ground on 10 carries. Dimitri Nance added 3 carries for 12 yards, and Antone Smith had 10 more yards on 4 carries. Julio Jones led receivers with 4 catches for 90 yards. Tony Gonzalez also had 4 catches for 24 yards. Turner (3 catches, 36 yards) and Harry Douglas (3 catches, 20 yards) also contributed. Roddy White caught Ryan’s touchdown, ending his night with 2 catches for 28 yards. Tim Toone’s only catch of the night was a 39-yard touchdown from Davis. Matt Bryant hit on all 3 of his field goal attempts of 45, 44, and 51 yards. Erik Folk missed his lone field goal attempt of 32 yards. Matt Bosher punted 5 times for an average of 43.6 yards with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Jacquizz Rodgers returned 1 kickoff for 40 yards. Toone had 2 punt returns for 21 yards, while Dominique Franks had a pair of punt returns for 8 yards. The Falcons offense had some struggles converting on third downs early in the game, with only 2 successful conversions on 7 attempts in the first half.

Defensively, the Falcons held tough. The Dolphins were plagued by a ton of dropped passes, which was also a cause of why they only converted 3 of 15 third down attempts. The Dolphins offense was held to 246 total yards, were sacked twice and had two turnovers. Thomas DeCoud led defenders with 5 tackles and an interception. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble), Akeem Dent (3 tackles), Cliff Matthews (1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery), Dunta Robinson (3 tackles), Asante Samuel (3 tackles), Lawrence Sidbury (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble), and Sean Weatherspoon (3 tackles) all had noteworthy games.

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