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Falcons drop another to Bengals

August 17th, 2012 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Green beats Samuel for a score

The Falcons almost pulled a comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals in their second preseason game, but ultimately lost 24-19. Dominique Davis put the Falcons in scoring position with only a few seconds left on the clock, but a dropped pass by James Rodgers on fourth down ended the Falcons chance to pulling the come from behind victory.

The Falcons starters got extensive reps, playing into the second quarter before being pulled. Matt Ryan had another solid performance, completing 18 of 21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. Ryan completed his first 11 passes on the night before suffering his first incompletion at the start of the second quarter. Chris Redman entered the game thereafter, and completed 10 of 15 passes for 106 yards and an interception. John Parker Wilson got limited work in the fourth quarter, completing 2 of 3 passes for 5 yards before making way for Davis. Davis ended the night 11 of 18 for 121 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Jacquizz Rodgers led rushers with 24 yards on 4 carries. Davis added 21 yards on 2 carries. Dimitri Nance had 4 carries for 16 yards. Michael Turner got the start, but only had -3 yards on 3 carries. Roddy White and LaMark Brown led receivers with 4 catches each, for 54 and 47 yards respectively. Brown also caught a touchdown pass. Lousaka Polite caught Ryan’s touchdown pass, finishing the game with 2 catches for 9 yards. Tony Gonzalez (3 catches, 44 yards), Julio Jones (3 catches, 41 yards), and Marcus Jackson (3 catches, 40 yards) also topped the receiving charts. Matt Bryant hit on two field goal attempts of 22 and 20 yards. Matt Bosher had 4 punts for an average of 30.3 yards, with all four landing inside the 20-yard line. Jacquizz Rodgers returned 3 kickoffs for an average of 23 yards, with James Rodgers returning 2 kickoffs for an average of 25 yards. Dominique Franks and Tim Toone each had a pair of punt returns for 13 and 12 yards, respectively.

Defensively, the Falcons were able to force a turnover early in the game and held the Bengals to 17 first downs and 322 total yards. They also tallied a sack. Darrin Walls led defenders with 5 tackles. John Abraham (2 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (1 tackle, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery), Peria Jerry (2 tackles, 1 sack), William Moore (3 tackles, 1 forced fumble), Dunta Robinson (3 tackles), and Sean Weatherspoon (2 tackles) had noteworthy games.

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Falcons starters shine in Ravens loss

August 9th, 2012 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Julio Jones celebrates after a TD

The Falcons lost their preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 31-17, but positives could be drawn from the game. Notably the Falcons starting offense and defense both had strong performances, getting out to a 14-0 lead early in the game before the reserves let the Ravens back into it.

Matt Ryan had a strong performance. He began the game completing his first six passes for 92 yards, including a touchdown. He finished the night completing 9 of 13 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception. All four Falcons quarterbacks got work from under center. Chris Redman entered the game to complete 1 of 6 passes for just 8 yards before giving way to John Parker Wilson. Wilson completed 8 of 13 passes for 69 yards, while Dominique Davis finished the game with 6 of 11 passing for 53 yards and an interception. On the ground, Jacquizz Rodgers led rushers with 33 yards on 9 carries, including a touchdown. Michael Turner had 5 carries for 17 yards, and Antone Smith also had 4 carries for 13 yards. Julio Jones had a dominant performance with 6 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Roddy White added 3 catches for 46 yards in his brief work. Kevin Cone, Marcus Jackson, Aron White, Michael Palmer, and Tim Toone each had a pair of receptions for 25, 25, 22, 17, and 16 yards respectively. Matt Bryant connected on his lone field goal attempt of 31 yards to end the first half. Matt Bosher punted 4 times for an average of 44.8 yards with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Dawson Zimmerman also punted 5 times for an average of 47.6 yards.

Defensively, the Falcons were stout against the Ravens’ starting offense shutting them out and limiting them to 15 total yards in the first quarter. Once the reserves starting to enter the game, however the unit was far less stout. For the game, they gave up 321 total yards. But they also forced a late interception, and also brought down Ravens passers for 3 sacks on the evening. Robert McClain tied for the team lead alongside Shann Schillinger with 6 tackles. McClain also added the interception. Kroy Biermann (1 tackle, 1 sack); Rico Council (3 tackles); Akeem Dent (2 tackles, 1 sack); Dominique Franks (4 tackles); Robert James (5 tackles, 1 sack); Peria Jerry (3 tackles); Jonathan Massaquoi (4 tackles); Travian Robertson (3 tackles); and Peyton Thompson (3 tackles) had noteworthy games.

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Falcons disappoint again in playoff loss

January 8th, 2012 Comments off
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Peters hangs his head

The Falcons remained winless in the playoffs under head coach Mike Smith with a 24-2 loss to the New York Giants. The Falcons offense struggled converting on third and fourth downs lead to the paltry offensive output. The Falcons have been ousted in their first playoff game for the third time in four seasons. The Falcons record for the year ends at 10-7.

Matt Ryan completed 24 of 41 for 199 yards, as the Falcons were unable to really be effective throwing the ball downfield. The running game was meager, with Michael Turner rushing 15 times for 41 yards. Julio Jones led the team in receptions with 7 catches for 64 yards. Roddy White had 5 catches for 52 yards, while Tony Gonzalez had 4 catches for 44 yards. Matt Bosher punted 7 times, matching a season high, for an average of 46 yards, with only 1 being placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems averaged 20.8 yards on 4 kickoff returns, but did not return a punt. The Falcons offense only converted on 4 of 14 (29%) of their third down attempts, and was 0 for 3 on fourth downs. All of their fourth down tries came inside the Giants own 25-yard line, all representing chances for the Falcons to settle for field goals to put additional points on the board.

Defensively, the Falcons played the Giants very tough in the first half. They only converted 2 of 9 third downs and were held to 7 points. But the Giants found little stopping them in the second half, converting all of their third down attempts, and putting up 17 points and 314 total yards. Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon tied for the team lead of 12 tackles. John Abraham (4 tackles, 1 sack), Spencer Adkins (4 tackles), Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles), Kroy Biermann (4 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (9 tackles, 2 for loss), Dominique Franks (5 tackles), Chris Owens (6 tackles, 2 passes defended), Dunta Robinson (3 tackles, 1 pass defended), and James Sanders (6 tackles) had noteworthy games.

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Falcons steamroll Bucs

January 1st, 2012 Comments off
AP Photo from Yahoo! Sports

Jones stiff arms a defender

The Falcons put a beatdown on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning 45-24, but went up 42 points in the first half before the Bucs finally got on the board. The Falcons finish the year 10-6 and will earn the fifth seed in NFC playoffs, and will be set to play the winner of tonight’s New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game in the opening round of the playoffs.

Matt Ryan led the way, going 6 of 9 for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns before getting pulled late in the second quarter. Ryan finishes the year with 4,177 yards, the most ever for a Falcons passer and also had 29 touchdowns, the third highest total and his own career high. Chris Redman subbed in and passed for 71 yards, while completing 7 of 12 pass attempts. He also had an interception. Michael Turner led rushers with 172 yards on 17 carries and 2 scores. He finishes the year with 1,340 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Jacquizz Rodgers added 8 carries for 24 yards and a touchdown and Jason  Snelling had 9 carries for 50 yards. Julio Jones and Roddy White both had 4 catches for 76 and 69 yards, respectively. Jones scored twice. He finishes his rookie year with 959 yards, the most ever for a Falcons rookie. White becomes the first Falcon receiver to ever have two 100-catch seasons, as he finished the year with 100 catches on the nose for 1,296 yards. Tony Gonzalez only had one catch for 8 yards. Matt Bryant connected on his lone field goal attempt from 20 yards. Matt Bosher had 2 punts for an average of 50.5 yards. Eric Weems had a single punt return for 9 yards and no kickoff returns. The Falcons offense rolled over the Bucs, particularly in the first half where they converted 5 of 6 third down attempts and gained 319 total yards, including 186 on the ground.

On defense the Falcons stymied the Bucs offense in the first half, forcing three turnovers and only allowing 98 total yards. With their pedal off the gas after building a 35-point halftime lead the defense did allow 17 second half points and 177 passing yards. Curtis Lofton led the team with 14 tackles and an interception which he returned for a score. John Abraham (1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery); Kroy Biermann (3 tackles, 0.5 sacks); Thomas DeCoud (8 tackles, 1 pass defended); Dominique Franks (5 tackles, 1 interception); William Moore (6 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble); Chris Owens (5 tackles, 1 pass defended); Darrin Walls (1 interception); and Sean Weatherspoon (5 tackles) had noteworthy games. Lofton’s production pushes his tackle total to 147 for the year, a career high for him. Weatherspoon finishes the year 113, a career high for him as well. Abraham finishes the year with 9.5 sacks, for the team lead.

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Falcons thrash Jaguars

December 16th, 2011 Comments off
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Abraham strips Gabbert

The Falcons dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 41-14 victory on Thursday Night Football. The Falcons got off to a fast start with a 27-0 halftime lead and never looked back.

Matt Ryan led the team with 224 yards passing on 19 of 26 completions with 3 touchdowns. Michael Turner rushed for 61 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Jason Snelling added 22 yards on 5 carries as well as 4 receptions for 26 yards. In the air, Roddy White caught 10 passes for 135 yards and 2 scores. Julio Jones also added 5 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. Matt Bryant hit on both of his field goal tries of 33 and 31 yards. Matt Bosher punted 4 times and averaged 51 yards with 3 placed inside the 20-yard line. He did have one blocked which was returned by the Jaguars for their first touchdown of the night. Eric Weems averaged 7 yards on 4 punt returns and 26.5 yards on a pair of kickoff returns. The offense put up 220 total yards in the first half and converted on half of their 8 third down tries in the first two quarters. They dominated time of possession, holding the ball for over 38 minutes, compared to Jacksonville’s 21 and a half minutes. The Falcons took the pedal off the gas in the second half, subbing in Chris Redman and most of the backups late in the third quarter after putting 41 points on the board.

Defensively, the Falcons were outstanding, only allowing a last minute Jaguars touchdown with only a minute remaining in the game. Going into the fourth quarter, Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert had only accumulated 22 yards passing. He was sacked five times and picked off once. Twice Gabbert was stripped for fumbles, one of which was ran 13 yards for a score by Corey Peters. The Jaguars muffed a punt as well, which also set up a quick Falcons score. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 8 tackles, including one for loss, and recovered a fumble. John Abraham (5 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles); Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles); Kroy Biermann (1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (1 tackle, 1 interception); Ray Edwards (0.5 sacks); Dominique Franks (3 tackles, 1 pass defended); William Moore (7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss); Chris Owens (2 tackles, 1 pass defended); Corey Peters (2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); Darrin Walls (1 tackle, 1 pass defended); and Sean Weatherspoon (2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss) all had noteworthy games.

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Falcons Rally to beat Panthers

December 12th, 2011 Comments off
AP from Yahoo! Sports

Jones celebrates with White

The Falcons overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to rally to beat the Carolina Panthers 31-23. It was the biggest halftime deficit overcome by the Falcons since they rallied 17 points to beat the Los Angeles Rams in October of 1987. The Falcons record moves to 8-5 and now they are in the driver’s seat as far as their wildcard hopes go with three games remaining.

Matt Ryan led the team with 320 yards passing, completing 22 of 38 pass attempts with 4 touchdowns. On the ground, Michael Turner led with 76 yards on 21 carries (3.6 avg). Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez both had 7 receptions for 84 and 82 yards, respectively. White also had a touchdown. Julio Jones had 3 catches for 104 yards and 2 scores, while Jacquizz Rodgers had 2 receptions for 39 yards and a score. Matt Bryant connected on a 30-yard field goal, but was wide left on a 46-yard attempt. Matt Bosher punted well with 6 punts for an average of 47.8 yards and 3 placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems averaged 7 yards on a pair of punt returns and 23 yards on his lone kickoff return. The Falcons only generated 117 total yards of offense in the first half, and converted 3 of 9 third downs (33%). But in the second half things picked up with 277 total yards of offense and 5 of 8 on third downs.

Much of the team’s offensive turnaround was faciliated by a pair of turnovers generated by defense, in which the team was able to score 7 points off. The defense did not have much of an answer for the Panthers in the first half, allowing 245 total yards including two touchdowns off big plays. Sean Weatherspoon led the team with 9 tackles, and also had a sack, two tackles for loss, and a pass defended.
John Abraham (3 tackles); Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles); Ray Edwards (3 tackles, 1 sack); Dominique Franks (2 tackles, 1 pass defended); Curtis Lofton (5 tackles); William Moore (3 tackles, 1 interception); Chris Owens (4 tackles); Corey Peters (3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss); Mike Peterson (1 tackle, 1 interception); and Dunta Robinson (4 tackles, 1 pass defended) had notable games.

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Falcons slip to Texans

December 4th, 2011 Comments off
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Ryan is taken down

The Falcons struggled on the road against the Houston Texans, finishing with a disappointing 17-10 loss. The Falcons had some opportunities to win late, twice with the ball in Texans territory late in the fourth quarter, but failed to punch it in. They also found themselves with two defensive touchdowns wiped off the board from turnovers due to costly penalties.

Matt Ryan struggled early in this game with two picks on his first six passes. But he managed to finish going 20 of 46 for 267 yards with a touchdown. The running game added little, with Michael Turner rushing 14 times for 44 yards (3.1 avg). In the air, Tony Gonzalez led the team with 7 catches for 100 yards. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Harry Douglas each had 4 catches for 68, 51, and 43 yards respectively. White had the team’s lone offensive touchdown. On special teams, Matt Bryant connected on a 19-yard field goal, his lone attempt of the day. Matt Bosher punted 4 times for an average of 50.5 yards with 2 of his punts going inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems averaged 23.5 yards and 11 yards on a pair of kickoffs and punts each, respectively. The offense struggled in the first half, converting only 1 of 6 third downs with only 123 total yards. The Falcons failed to take advantage of their lone redzone opportunity in the first half. Things did pick up in the second half as they were able to convert 5 of 7 third downs, adding 214 total yards, and did score a touchdown on their lone redzone entry.

Defensively the Falcons struggled to stop the run. They gave up a total of 162 rushing yards, 106 of which came in the second half. The Texans were able to convert on half of their 18 third down attempts. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 11 tackles, and also added a sack and a tackle for loss. John Abraham (1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 pass defended); Kroy Biermann (4 tackles); Thomas DeCoud (10 tackles); Dominique Franks (3 tackles); Mike Peterson (10 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 pass defended); Dunta Robinson (3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended); James Sanders (10 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); Vance Walker (1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble); and Sean Weatherspoon (7 tackles, 1 pass defended) all had noteworthy games. Walker was able to force a fumble early in the game on a strip of T.J. Yates that James Sanders scooped up to run 90 yards for a touchdown. But the score was wiped out by a pair of off-setting illegal substitution penalties on both squads as players had begun to walk onto the field believing that the play was actually an incomplete pass. And at the outset of the fourth quarter, Mike Peterson stepped in front of a Yates pass to return it 31 yards for a pick six, but that play was nullified by a defensive holding call before the interception on the opposite side of the field by Robinson. That score would have given the Falcons a 17-10 lead, but instead the Texans proceeded to drive down the field to take the 17-10 lead, a lead they would hold for the remainder of the game.

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Falcons sack Vikings

November 27th, 2011 Comments off
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Sidbury sacks Ponder

The Falcons overcame a late push by the Minnesota Vikings to win 24-14, to move their record to 7-4. The Falcons got out to a 17-0 lead at the half, but allowed the Vikings to score 14 points before they could get back on the board to seal the win late in the fourth quarter.

Matt Ryan completed 27 of 34 passes for 262 yards with 3 touchdowns. Michael Turner led the team on the ground with 60 yards on 19 carries (3.2 avg). Roddy White led receivers with 10 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Tony Gonzalez (9 catches, 69 yards), Harry Douglas (2 catches, 45 yards, 1 touchdown), and Michael Palmer (2 catches, 8 yards, 1 touchdown) also contributed in the air. Matt Bryant connected on his lone field goal try from 37 yards.  Matt Bosher averaged 50.4 yards on 5 punts with 1 placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems averaged 13.5 yards on 4 punt returns, including a 42-yarder, 26 yards on a pair of kickoff returns. The Falcons were able to convert on half of their 14 third down attempts and also scored 3 touchdowns on 4 redzone trips.

Defensively, the Falcons dominated the game in the first half, holding the Vikings to 97 total yards. Sean Weatherspoon led defenders with 10 tackles, and also had a sack and 3 tackles for loss. Curtis Lofton (9 tackles, 1 pass defended), Stephen Nicholas (4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended), Chris Owens (4 tackles, 1 sack), Corey Peters (4 tackles), James Sanders (8 tackles), and Lawrence Sidbury (2 tackles, 2 sacks) all had noteworthy games.

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Falcons handle Titans, 23-17

November 20th, 2011 Comments off
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Abraham sacks Locker

The Falcons rebounded from last week’s tough loss with a strong 23-17 win over the Tennessee Titans at home. The Falcons record moves to 6-4, as they attempt to keep pace down the stretch in the NFC playoff race.

Matt Ryan led the team, completing 22 of 32 passes for 316 yards and a touchdown. Michael Turner had 100 yards on the ground on 21 carries (4.8 avg) and a touchdown. In the air, Roddy White led receivers with 7 catches for 147 yards. Tony Gonzalez caught 5 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. Harry Douglas added 4 catches for 51 yards. Matt Bryant connected on 3 field goals of 19, 33, and 24 yards on the day. Matt Bosher punted twice for an average of 33 yards with both kicks placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems returned a pair of punts for 27 yards. The offense was not at its most crisp on the day, only converting 4 of 12 third down attempts and scoring only 2 touchdowns in 6 redzone trips. Turner also had the team’s lone turnover with a fumble near the goalline.

Defensively, the Falcons handled the Titans much better, particularly early in the game. They gave up only 298 total yards and forced a turnover with a Dunta Robinson interception. Chris Johnson was shut down with only 13 yards on 12 carries. Chris Owens led defenders with 7 tackles on the day, he replaced Kelvin Hayden, who left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury. John Abraham (3 tackles, 1 sack), Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles, 2 passes defended), Ray Edwards (1 tackle, 1 pass defended), Brent Grimes (1 tackle, 2 passes defended), Curtis Lofton (6 tackles, 1 pass defended), Robinson (3 tackles, 3 passes defended), James Sanders 94 tackles), and Sean Weatherspoon (3 tackles) had noteworthy games.

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Falcons miss opportunities in overtime loss

November 13th, 2011 Comments off
AP Photo from Yahoo! Sports

Meachem makes TD grab over DeCoud

The Falcons dropped an overtime heart-breaker to the New Orleans Saints at home, by a score of 26-23. It marks the team’s third consecutive home loss to the Saints. The Falcons led a valiant comeback to tie the game at the end of regulation, but a failed fourth down conversion in overtime deep in their own territory set up an easy Saints field goal for the win.

Matt Ryan completed 29 of a career-high 52 pass attempts for 351 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Michael Turner led rushers with 96 yards on 22 carries. Jacquizz Rodgers added 30 yards on 7 carries. Harry Douglas led receivers with career highs of 8 catches and 133 yards. Tony Gonzalez (6 catches, 71 yards, 1 touchdown), Roddy White (4 catches, 62 yards),  Jason Snelling (2 catches, 25 yards, 1 touchdown), and Eric Weems (3 catches, 25 yards) also contributed. Julio Jones left the game just before halftime, re-aggravating his hamstring injury. He finished on the day with 2 catches for 9 yards. Matt Bryant connected on 3 of 4 field goal attempts. His miss from 40 yards snapped his consecutively made field goal streak at 29. His 27-yarder at the end of regulation tied the game and sent it into overtime. Matt Bosher had a solid day punting, averaging 45.4 yards on 5 punts. He also had a touchback on a kickoff, a touchdown-saving tackle on another, but could not convert on an onside kick attempt late in the fourth quarter. Eric Weems averaged 20.5 yards on 2 kickoff returns. The Falcons offense struggled converting third downs, going 5 of 16 on the day, went 0 for 3 in the redzone in terms of touchdowns, and were penalized 10 times.

Defensively, the Falcons had some success keeping the explosive Saints offense in check. While they gave up 363 total yards, they did hold the Saints to going 4 of 13 on third downs, limiting them to 41 rushing yards on 16 attempts (2.6 avg), as well as shutting them down in the redzone (0 for 3 on touchdowns). But they could not force any turnovers, snapping the team’s 27-game streak of doing so. They also struggled to get pressure on Drew Brees, resulting in no sacks. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 9 tackles including one for a loss. John Abraham (5 tackles, 1 QB hit), Jonathan Babineaux (3 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (7 tackles), Ray Edwards (3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), Brent Grimes (4 tackles, 1 pass defended), Kelvin Hayden (4 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), James Sanders (5 tackles), and Sean Weatherspoon (6 tackles, 1 pass defended) had notable performances.

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