Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/18/12
The Falcons and the Cardinals played a tight game today, but one stat should have given the Cardinals the clear and decisive victory.  That stat is six forced turnovers.Falcons' fans knew the game was going to be a tough one when the Cardinals were able to intercept Matt Ryan's first pass on the first play of the game.  The Cardinals were able to turn that interception into 7 points only 2 plays later to take an early lead and gain major momentum.The Falcons next four drives provided nothing but more turnovers for the Cardinals.  It was not until the Falcons sixth drive of the game that they were able to put points up on the scoreboard.  But by that point, the Cardinals had already put up 13. The second quarter saw the Falcons show some life by scoring 16 points and grab some momentum right before half with a long field goal to tie the game at 16 all.  This was big because had they not made that field goal, the Cardinals would have had a lead at half and the ball to start the third quarter.The one bright spot for the Falcons today was the defense.  Despite the Cardinals starting five different drives on the Atlanta side of the 50, they were able to hold the Cardinals to only 1 touchdown all game.  And no series was more crucial than the Cardinals last drive that began at the Atlanta 32 yard line after a tipped pass turned into yet another Matt Ryan interception. Up by only four points, the Atlanta Defense, who scored a touchdown earlier on a fumble forced by John Abraham, stepped up and forced the Cardinals to go for it on 4th and short.  The Cardinals tried to go deep to Larry Fitzgerald, who originally appeared to come down with the pass.  But after a few moments, the refs came together and decided that he had not maintained possession throughout the play.  With this immense stop by the defense, all the offense had to do was get one first down and and run out the clock to earn a most unlikely victory and a 9-1 record.The defense in this game held the Cardinals to a season-low 41 yards passing.  They also allowed 137 yards rushing but 92 of those yards came on two runs early in the game.Game Notes:  Matt Ryan had his worst game as a pro to-date by throwing a career worst 5 interceptions.  He finished the game with 301 yards and no touchdowns.  In his past 3 games.  Ryan has 3 touchdowns to an atrocious 6 interceptions.Michael Turner is still having trouble running the ball.  He was only able to gain 46 yards on 15 carries.  The one bright spot for the offense and Turner was the go ahead rushing touchdown they scored late in the game.Both Julio Jones and Asante Samuel played through injuries and might have to miss some time in order to recover.
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