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Falcons Team Report


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Falcons Team Report

Yahoo! Sports 4 hours, 21 minutes ago


The Falcons have had this one circled for a while.

They will head to Philadelphia seeking atonement for last season’s most lopsided lost.

Atlanta was embarrassed when former quarterback Michael Vick(notes) led the Eagles to a 34-7 victory in the Georgia Dome.

At the end of the game, most of the people left were Vick fans cheering for him. Vick accounted for two touchdowns in the game.

The Falcons are on a roll, having won four in a row since dropping the season opener against Pittsburgh.

The latest victim was Cleveland.

In that matchup with Philadelphia last season, the Falcons played with backup quarterback Chris Redman(notes). Matt Ryan(notes) was out with a turf toe injury.

Vick was used as a backup Wildcat quarterback in that game. If he can come back from a rib injury, he could the starter this time around.

“I really like the way our guys are playing,” Falcons coach Mike Smith(notes) said. “They come and give you a full day’s work.”

The Falcons led 13-10 going into the fourth quarter against Cleveland. The team is now 20-1 under Smith when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

“It’s something that we talk about,” Smith said. “You’ve got to play every play. Usually it’s going to be five or six plays in the National Football League that’s going to make the difference.

The Falcons pulled away from Cleveland when they got a big interception from Kroy Biermann(notes), who returned it for a touchdown.

“You know what, I think we are maturing,” Smith said. “We are a young team, but we’ve had a lot of guys who have played a lot.

Biermann is in his first year as a starter.

“I know that Kroy is from Montana, and he’s probably rode a wild bronco or bulls, and he’s probably been thrown off them and has landed on his feet,” Smith said. “I think that had something to do with it. It was a super athletic play.”


Under The Radar: Defensive end John Abraham(notes) has four sacks this season, after compiling just 5.5 last season.

Abraham abused Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas(notes), a three-time Pro Bowler, compiling five tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and three quarterback hits.

He had the option of rushing over tackle Tony Pashos(notes), a less heralded player.

“I felt more comfortable on the right side going against Joe Thomas,” Abraham said. “I just thought my game worked better because the quarterback can’t see me. On Pashos’ side, he can see me.”

Abraham moved into sixth place on the Falcons’ all-time sacks list with 40.5, passing Don Smith, who totaled 38.5 in six seasons from 1979-84.

By The Numbers: 140—Rushing yards for running back Michael Turner(notes) on 19 carries, including a 55-yard gain in the second quarter. It was his longest run of the season.

“It was just some great blocking up front,” Turner said. “I saw a hole and exploded through there. The easy part was just to run.”

Turner was tackled at Cleveland’s 12-yard line by safety Abraham Elam.

“I was throwing guys off of me, so I didn’t see him until the last second, toward the end of the play,” Turner said. “I was hoping that I was able to finish the run off.”

Overall, the Falcons rushed 31 times for 165 yards (5.3 per carry).


Player Notes

• QB Matt Ryan completed 16 of 28 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown. He had a passer rating of 89.4 against Cleveland.

• WR Roddy White(notes) caught five passes for 101 yards and one touchdown. He caught a 45-yard bomb over Joe Haden(notes) to give the Falcons the lead for good.

• DE Kroy Biermann scored a 41-yard touchdown on his first career interception. The third-year pro scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery against New Orleans on Nov. 2, 2009.

• LB Stephen Nicholas(notes) sealed the game for Atlanta when he intercepted Jake Delhomme’s(notes) pass intended for WR Chansi Stuckey(notes). The Falcons then ran out the clock to improve their record to 4-1.

• DE John Abraham dragged Browns QB Seneca Wallace(notes) down in the backfield in the first quarter. With that sack, Abraham posted his 39th sack as a Falcon, passing Don Smith (38.5) for sixth in franchise history. Abraham has recorded 11.5 sacks in his past 10 games against AFC opponents.

• SS William Moore(notes) recovered a fumble. Moore has contributed with two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery since replacing S Erik Coleman(notes) as the starter. In 2010, the Falcons have scored 36 points on their 13 takeaways.

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