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Falcons Highlights: QB Matt Ryan Became The Falcons All-Time Leading Passer In Season Finale

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QB Matt Ryan became the Falcons all-time leading passer, breaking QB Steve Bartkowski’s club record 23,470 yards. Ryan completed 28 of 40 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and a 95.8 passer rating. In six seasons, he has totaled 23,472 career passing yards.

RB Jason Snelling tied a career-high with his third touchdown reception of the season on a nine-yard pass from Ryan on Atlanta’s opening drive. Snelling has totaled 17 career touchdowns, including nine receiving touchdowns.

Ryan completed seven of seven pass attempts for 62 yards and a touchdown on the Falcons first possession. Since 2008, the Falcons have scored an NFL-best 262 points on their opening drives, including 38 first possession points in 2013. Atlanta’s opening possession score marked the first time this season that Carolina has allowed a touchdown on its opponents first drive.

Ryan hit WR Roddy White for a 39-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The scoring strike was Ryan’s 26th of the season and his 153rd career TD pass. Ryan tossed multiple touchdowns in 10 games in 2013, giving him 49 multi-touchdown games in his six year career.

White’s 39-yard touchdown catch was his third touchdown reception of the season and the 55th of his career. He ranks third in franchise history behind Terance Mathis (57) and Andre Rison (56).

White closed out the season with a brilliant December, catching 43 passes for 502 yards, and two touchdowns. White finished the season with 63 receptions, 711 yards, and three touchdowns despite being hampered by injuries early in the year.

TE Tony Gonzalez played his last NFL game in the 2013 season finale. He closed out his illustrious career with four catches for 56 yards. In his 17th season, Gonzalez caught 83 passes for 859 yards, and a team-high eight touchdowns. The 2013 season marked his eighth career 80+ catch season and the fourth time in the last five years that he has accomplished that feat.

Gonzalez holds NFL records for receptions (1,325), receiving yards (15,127), touchdown catches (111), 100-yard games (31), Pro Bowl appearances (13) and 1,000-yard seasons (four) among tight ends. He is the first tight end in NFL history to record 100 touchdown catches, 1,000 receptions, and 15,000 yards. The 17-year veteran has accomplished feats equaled only by some of the game’s greatest wide outs, including WR Jerry Rice, WR Cris Carter, and WR Tim Brown.

In five seasons with the Falcons, Gonzalez made a lasting impact on the club’s record books as he ranks fourth in franchise history in receptions (409), eighth in receiving yards (4,187), and tied for fifth in touchdowns (35). Among tight ends, Gonzalez set a franchise-record for receptions, tied TE Alge Crumpler for the record in touchdown and ranks third in receiving yards.

With 83 receptions in 2013, Gonzalez has posted 70-or-more catches in 11 consecutive seasons dating back to 2003. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Gonzalez broke Tim Brown’s (10) NFL record for consecutive seasons with 70-or-more catches.

Gonzalez ranks fifth in NFL history with 15,127 career receiving yards. He is the first tight end in NFL history to surpass 15,000 receiving yards and ends his career as one of the greatest players in NFL history.

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 15,127

In addition to becoming the Falcons all-time leading passer, Ryan set franchise records for completions and attempts in a season with 439 completions and 651 attempts. Ryan broke his own record of 422 completions and 615 attempts set in 2012. His 67.4 completion percentage in 2013 was the second highest of his career.

Ryan completed 233 of 321 passes for 2,341 yards with 13 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 102.6 passer rating at the Georgia Dome this season. His 72.6 completion percentage at home this season was the highest by any quarterback in franchise history. According to Stats LLC., only QB Drew Brees (73.2) has completed a higher percentage of passes at home during a season (minimum eight games).

Ryan finished the season throwing for 4,515 yards with 26 touchdowns, 17 interceptions and an 89.6 passer rating.

RB Steven Jackson finished the game with 94 total yards logging 41 yards on 13 carries and adding 53 yards on five receptions. Sunday marked Jackson’s highest yardage output since posting 122 yards (77 rushing & 45 receiving) in Week 1 at New Orleans. Jackson finished the season with 543 yards on 157 carries and six touchdowns on the ground. He added 33 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown.

WR Harry Douglas closed out his career year with seven catches for 58 yards on Sunday. Douglas set career highs with a team-leading 85 receptions and 1,067 yards with two touchdowns.

S William Moore notched his third interception of the season, picking off QB Cam Newton after WR Domenik Hixon tipped the ball into the air. Since becoming a starter in 2010, Moore has created 22 turnovers with 14 interceptions and eight forced fumbles.

In his last four games, Moore has recorded two interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery leading a Falcons defense that has tallied 12 takeaways in the last five games.

Rookie CB Robert Alford forced RB DeAngelo Williams to fumble after Williams took a screen pass for a 59-yard gain. The loose ball was pounced on by rookie CB Desmond Trufant to give the Falcons possession and prevent a possible score. The rookie duo of Alford and Trufant combined for four INTs, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and 24 passes defensed.

Rookie LB Paul Worrilow notched his second sack of the season, forcing Newton out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage on a scramble. The college free agent out of Delaware finished the season with 120 tackles (82 solo), two sacks, and two passes defensed. Sunday marked his seventh game of the season with 10-or-more tackles and the seventh time in the last nine games that he accomplished that feat.

K Matt Bryant connected on both of his field goal attempts, hitting from 42 and 37 yards. In 2013, he made 24 of his 27 field goal attempts (88.9 percent), including eight of 10 from 40+ yards. Bryant also connected on all 39 of his extra point attempts. Bryant’s 539 points as a Falcon are the third most in franchise history.

Courtesy Atlanta Falcons

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