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Falcons vs Redskins Highlights – Dec 15th, 2013

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Washington Redskins v Atlanta Falcons
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Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith improved his record to 60-34. He is the first coach in franchise history to reach 60 coaching wins and his .638 winning percentage is the best in team history.

The Falcons forced a season-high seven turnovers against the Redskins, including five fumble recoveries and two interceptions. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Atlanta’s seven takeaways are the most by the Falcons in a single game since November 6, 1988 when the Birds had seven takeaways against the Green Bay Packers.

Atlanta has forced 11 turnovers in its last three games after recording eight turnovers in the first 11 games. The Falcons forced five fumbles against the Redskins, recovering all five and intercepted two passes. Atlanta entered the game with five recovered opponent fumbles all season.

With a 13-yard catch in the third quarter, TE Tony Gonzalez became the fifth player in NFL history to record 15,000 career receiving yards. He holds NFL records for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns by a tight end.

Receiving Yards, NFL History
Player Seasons Rec. Yards
Jerry Rice 20 22,895
Terrell Owens 15 15,934
Randy Moss 14 15,292
Isaac Bruce 16 15,208
Tony Gonzalez 17 15,008

The Falcons opened the game with a 14-play, 78-yard drive ending with RB Steven Jackson bulldozing his way into the endzone for a three-yard touchdown.

Atlanta has scored 31 points on its opening drives this season. Since 2008, the Falcons have scored an NFL-best 255 points on their first offensive possession. QB Matt Ryan completed seven of nine passes for 62 yards on the drive. This season, he has been among the NFL’s best at the start of games. Ryan is averaging a 79.3 completion percentage on his first 10 throws in 14 games this season.

Jackson punched in his second rushing touchdown of the day in the third quarter, giving him five rushing touchdowns this season, with all five coming in the last four games.

Jackson has 61 career rushing touchdowns and is one of five active players with 60-or-more rushing scores. His 70 total touchdowns is also tied for eighth among active players.

Sunday marked Jackson’s second multi-touchdown game as a Falcon and the 11th time in his career that he has posted multiple scores in a single game. Jackson has scored two-or-more rushing touchdowns eight times in his career.

In his career, Jackson has tallied 433 receptions. He passed Kevin Faulk (431) and James Wilder (431), and tied Edgerrin James (433) for 20th the NFL’s all-time receptions list for running backs on Sunday.

DE Osi Umenyiora notched his third strip-sack of the season, dropping QB Kirk Cousins for a nine-yard loss and forcing the second-year passer to fumble. The loose ball was recovered by DT Jonathan Babineaux.

Umenyiora has 7.5 sacks this season and 82.5 career sacks. He ranks eighth among all active players in sacks and his 35 career forced fumbles are sixth among active players.

On the ensuing drive, Ryan hit Gonzalez for a 13-yard touchdown giving the future Hall of Famer 110 career touchdown receptions, the sixth-most in NFL history. Additionally, Gonzalez has 34 touchdown receptions as a Falcon which ties him for sixth in franchise history with WR Michael Haynes.

Gonzalez has seven touchdown receptions this season, including three straight games with a touchdown catch. This marks the third straight season he’s pulled down seven or more touchdowns and the 12th time in his career that he’s posted touchdown receptions in three straight games.

Gonzalez finished the game with a team-high six catches for 62 yards and one touchdown. He has recorded 71 receptions for 740 yards with seven touchdowns this season. The 2013 season marks his 11th straight season with 70-or-more catches and the 14th time in his career that he has eclipsed 70 receptions.

Ryan finished the game completing 76.3 percent of his passes (29 of 38) for 210 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and an 86.5 passer rating. This season, Ryan has completed 73.0 percent of his passes (205 of 281) at home and Sunday marked his fifth game at the Georgia Dome with a completion percentage of 76.0-or-better in 2013. Ryan improved his career record at the Georgia Dome to 36-9.

Redskins RB Alfred Morris fumbled losing control of the ball at the Falcons 24-yard line. Rookie DE Malliciah Goodman recovered the fumble and returned it 13 yards before being tripped up. Goodman finished the game with one quarterback hit and his first career fumble recovery.

S William Moore intercepted Cousins at the 16-yard line and returned it 14 yards to set up Jackson’s second score. Moore has two interceptions this season and since becoming a starter in 2010, his 13 interceptions are tied for the fourth-most among NFL safeties.

Since 2010, Moore has created 21 turnovers, including 13 interceptions and eight forced fumbles. The fifth-year player out of Missouri has forced a turnover in each of the last three games, causing fumbles at Buffalo and at Green Bay and notching an interception against Washington.

Rookie CB Desmond Trufant recorded his second career interception, picking off Cousins in the fourth quarter and giving the Falcons seven takeaways in the game. Trufant finished the game with seven tackles (three solo), one interception, and two passes defensed. This season, Trufant set a club rookie record and leads the team with 16 passes defensed.

WR Roddy White caught five passes for 53 yards in the win over Washington, including a pair of first down receptions. In his last three games, White has caught 23 passes for 270 yards (90 yards per game) after catching 20 passes for 209 yards (26.1 yards per game) in his first eight games.

CB Robert McClain recovered a fumble at the Redskins 15-yard line after WR Santana Moss muffed a punt, setting up a 20-yard field goal by K Matt Bryant. McClain also forced a fumble, ripping the ball out of Moss’ hands at the Falcons 10-yard line to prevent a score. McClain finished the game with five tackles (two solo) and added a career-long 25 yard punt return.

K Matt Bryant connected on both of his field goal attempts, including his third kick of 50+ yards with a 51-yard field goal that would prove to be the difference in the game. Bryant totaled nine points in the win, giving him 525 points since joining the Falcons in 2009, which ranks third in club annals.

(Courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons)

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