Falcons Finish What They Start: Stats From a Sunday Win
It appears there is some light coming out of the tunnel in Flowery Branch as the Atlanta Falcons won for the third time in the last four weeks on Sunday, taking down the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The win gave Atlanta a 5-7 record as they climb closer to .500 and still hold a tie-breaker edge over the New Orleans Saints.
Atlanta’s offense erupted as the passing and running games found their footing against what was believed to be one of the better defenses in the NFL.
Julio Jones had a career day, catching passes and Steven Jackson topped the 100-yard rushing plateau.
Here are some facts about the team in their win Sunday afternoon, according to the team’s website.
- The Falcons amassed 500 yards of total offense for the second time this season and the seventh time in club history. Atlanta posted 361 yards through the air and 142 yards on the ground. Atlanta owns a 4-1 record this season when rushing for 100-or-more yards.
- Atlanta jumped out to an early lead after RB Steven Jackson broke a season-long 55-yard run to set up a touchdown on the Falcons opening drive. Jackson was pulled down at the one-yard line but four plays later QB Matt Ryan hit TE Levine Toilolo for a touchdown in the back of the end zone.
- Jackson’s 55-yard scamper was his longest as a Falcon, topping his previous best of 50 yards set at New Orleans in his Falcons debut. Additionally, the big run was his ninth career rush of 50-or-more yards.
- The Falcons have scored 31 points on their first offensive possessions this season. Since 2008, Atlanta’s 293 opening drive points are the most in the NFL.
- Despite having a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown by WR Devin Hester called back because of a penalty, Atlanta kept the early pressure on adding a 20-yard field goal from K Matt Bryant on its second drive.
- Atlanta’s defense fed off the offense’s fast start, forcing Arizona to go three and out on their opening drive and creating a turnover on their second. Four plays into the Cardinals second drive, S Dwight Lowery intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards to set up Atlanta’s third score of the game.
- Lowery has posted two interceptions this year, his most in a single season since 2011 when he grabbed two picks with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Falcons safeties have now posted interceptions in four straight games.
- Jones has caught five touchdown passes this season, including scores in each of the last two games. He has posted back-to-back games with a touchdown catch twice this season and nine times in his career.
- Jones closed out a monster first half with 132 yards and one touchdown on eight catches. Jones posted his best half of football as a Falcon with a career best for first half receiving yards and tied his career-high in first half receptions. He has recorded 100-or-more yards in the first half four times in his career.
- Jones finished with a career-high 189 yards on 10 catches with one touchdown. His performance was the ninth best single-game receiving yardage total in team history. Including playoffs, Jones has posted 182-plus yards three times in his career.
- Ryan completed 21 of 29 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns, one interception, and a 103.1 quarterback rating in the first half, leading the Falcons to a 20-10 lead going into the break. The Falcons are now 50-8 when they hold the lead at half time.
- Ryan finished the completing 30 of 41 pass attempts for 361 yards with two touchdowns, one interception, and a 105.8 passer rating. Ryan has led the Falcons to a 37-3 record when he posts a QB rating of 100-or-higher during his career, including a 3-1 record this season.
- Ryan averaged 8.8 yards per pass attempt in Sunday’s win. He has averaged over eight yards per attempt four times this season and in his career the Falcons are 28-4 when he hits that mark.
- WR Harry Douglas had his best game of the season, catching nine passes for 116 yards (12.9 per reception). Filling in for an injured WR Roddy White, Douglas notched his second straight 100-yard game against the Cardinals and the fifth 100-yard game of his career.
- Setting the tone with his big early run, Jackson continued to pace the ground game finishing with 101 yards on 18 carries, while averaging a season-high 5.6 yards per carry. Jackson notched his first 100-yard game as a Falcon and the 34th of his career.
- Atlanta’s defense continued its second half surge holding Arizona to just 35 yards on the ground, including 3.2 yards per carry. Additionally, the Falcons defense only allowed the Cardinals to convert one of seven third down attempts for a season low 14 percent conversion rate.