The Atlanta Falcons came out roaring in their Saturday night game against the Lions. The Falcons took a 21-3 lead and held on to win 31-18. A regular season win is nice but more significant is that the Falcons have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
On a night where Calvin Johnson would break Jerry Rice's individual single season receiving yard record, it was the tandem of Julio Jones and Roddy White that would find the end zone three times as compared to Johnson's zero. Not to take anything away from Johnson's great night and his record breaking performance but the Falcons took a huge step forward with this win and continue on with their goal of being successful in the playoffs.
The Falcons showed glimpses of being unstoppable on both sides of the football in the first half but also showed that they can be more than human with their third quarter performance. Ultimately it was a gutty performance by Matt Ryan down the stretch that sealed the deal for the Falcons.
The Lions cut the lead to five points in the fourth quarter and had all the momentum on their side. That's when Matt Ryan led the Falcons on an 11 play, 78 yard drive that lasted 6:14 and resulted in a TD. Ryan had a key 16 yard QB keeper on a 2nd and 17 play that helped keep the drive alive. He finished off the drive by throwing a great pass to Michael Palmer for a TD after his primary receiver, Mike Cox, was covered coming out of the backfield.
The Falcons have now won 13 of 15 games they've played this season and have one game remaining. After the match-up with the Bucs next week, it's time for the Falcons to prove their worth in the playoffs. Are they ready?