Falcons pull out 24-14 win over Vikings

For the second consecutive game, the Falcons built a nice lead only to let it whittle away before pulling out the win.

They had a chance to rout the Minnesota Vikings, but eventually had to settle for a 24-14 victory Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

Cornerback Christopher Owens helped to save the game with a tackle on Minnesota’s Percy Harvin, who had broken free on a kickoff return. Also, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a key stop on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

The Falcons, who have won five of their last six games, improved to 7-4. The Vikings, who were playing without their star running back Adrian Peterson, dropped to 2-9.

Behind the hot passing of Matt Ryan, the Falcons held a 17-0 lead at halftime.

Ryan completed 14 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns to help the Falcons take control of the game in the first half.

After an exchange of punts, the Falcons got into gear.

The offense relied heavily on running backs Michael Turner and Jason Snelling to march deep into Minnesota territory. After reaching the 18-yard line, right guard Joe Hawley was called for holding. Falcons coach Mike Smith said penalties and dropped passes were the reasons why the red-zone offense had stalled while going 3 of 10 over the two previous games.

But this time, they were able to overcome Hawley’s penalty. On second-and-19 from the 27, Harry Douglas caught a pass over the middle and ran through attempted tackles by E.J. Henderson and Asher Allen on his way to the end zone.

While Minnesota’s offense was sputtering about the Falcons added two more scores.

In the second quarter, Ryan found Roddy White in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

Bryant added a 37-yard field goal to make it 17-0.

Things started to turn in the third quarter. On their first possession of the second half, the Falcons elected to punt on fourth-and-1.

Minnesota finally started to move the ball.

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder converted on 3 of 3 third down situations during the 80-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Toby Gerhart.

The Vikings were able keep a vital fourth quarter drive alive with two bizarre plays.

A rolling punt, after an apparent stop, hit Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks and the Vikings recovered.

The Falcons had them stopped again after a pass was ruled incomplete on third-and-13 after the play was challenged. On fourth down, Ponder tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Harvin to make it 17-14.

After an exchange of punts, the Falcons went on a nine-play 73-yard drive. Ryan tossed his third touchdown pass, a 3-yarder, to tight end Michael Palmer to make it 24-14.

The Vikings were not done. Harvin broke loose for a 104 yard return down to the Falcons’ 3 with 6:28 to play. He brought the ball out from 8-yards deep in the end zone. Owens chased him down and made the tackle.

The Falcons defense, which has been stingy in the red zone all season, held the Vikings out of the end zone. On fourth-and-goal from the one, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was the first player to hit Gerhart and stack him up short of the end zone.

Last week against Tennessee, the Falcons built a 23-3 lead before giving up two late touchdowns before pulling out the 23-17 win.

116 comments Add your comment

Michael M.

November 27th, 2011
4:16 pm

Chris Owens stopped a touchdown from being scored…my goodness he was the only one fast enough to catch that guy ! Congrats to him !

Go Giants ! Kick the Saints behinds tomorrow night !

Aints Fans say what ? First place ? You have First place ?

Better watch it tomorrow night boys, the Giants have their own business agenda !

Michael M.

November 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

Roddy White redeemed thyself Young man !

Congrats to the Birds on another win which they won handily !

kk

November 27th, 2011
4:19 pm

gotta be a record. the longest kickoff return to not be a TD

The Grinch

November 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

It was sloppy but we’ll take it. Good job.

Michael M.

November 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

My My, they bragging on Atlanta on NFL Sunday Ticket !

Got to admit Atlanta is getting it all together now …….could be on a roll now !

Got to root for the Giants to win big over the Aints tomorrow night !

Looking ahead......

November 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

Looks like the Texans may be down to their third string QB next week against the Falcons! If Leinart can’t go it will be T.J. Yates.

Sam

November 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

Amazing video of a high school senior from Columbia TN who kicks the ball dead straight 75-80 yards in the air. He was successful on 54 of 54 attempts this season….100%. Now he needs a college team. Wants to play for Georgia Tech!!!

Watch for yourself…it is unreal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_JKwgwFY3g

Tommy

November 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

What I liked best is at the end of the game, none of the coaches were smiling. They knew there were mistakes and they’ll work on it this week.

Great job by Owens, and a great example of why you run until the whistle blows.

But this team HAS to learn to finish opponents. That’s two weeks in a row they let an inferior team back in it.

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

Still, wondering why MD spent FIVE DRAFT PICKS on Julio. No catches today. Anyone else think someone like Torrey Smith would have been just as good of a guy to fill that role? Sure would of liked to spent those extra picks on defense .

bgfalcon

November 27th, 2011
4:37 pm

can someone tell me what happened on 4th and 13? im still pissed about it, and want some answers to whose fault it was.

Rise Up!

November 27th, 2011
4:39 pm

Coaching staff needs to quit feathering the gas peddle … stomp on it until the last whistle blows!

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
4:39 pm

sorry, I meant Thomas Dimitroff

bgfalcon

November 27th, 2011
4:40 pm

julio is gonna be a future star man. right now he is learning but when he gets his ish together he could be like andre johnson.

Leeman Bennett

November 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

Who would have thought that Christopher Owens could have possibly saved a game!

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

Yeah, every home game take advantage of that ”no huddle offense”! Why switch back? You saw what happened during the 3rd Qtr. Keep that defense guessing!

mark

November 27th, 2011
4:43 pm

any news on grimes?!

tdawg in Stockbridge

November 27th, 2011
4:44 pm

We will not, I repeat, we will not beat the great QB’s until we come out of that zone on defense. It makes rookies and below average QB’s look serviceable. Championship teams play mostly press coverage and rarely play zone.

MattRyan

November 27th, 2011
4:45 pm

“Mercedes Oprah! Mercedes Oprah!”

Mr. Panic Button

November 27th, 2011
4:45 pm

These games are looking all the same…Falcons score one or two TDs in the first half, go to sleep in the third, and try to hold on for a win in the fourth. This team does not know how to play at a high level for four quarters. I blame the coaching staff.

Mr. Panic Button

November 27th, 2011
4:46 pm

And before some wise a$$ says we won the game. I’m aware of that. But playing at an average level gives you average results. Think we’re going to win a playoff game against a good team?

Big Daddy

November 27th, 2011
4:48 pm

Great win Falcons!!! However, two weeks in a row you let the other team back in the game. Two weeks in a row you went from letting Matt go no huddle in the first half to coaches calling plays in the second. Only when you went back to no huddle did he make the go ahead touchdown. No huddle seems to work. Why change it?

rudy

November 27th, 2011
4:50 pm

that was kinda scary but a win is a win…falcons seem to relax going into the 2nd half, texans won’t be a cakewalk, stay focus and blowaway these teams cos your playoff lives depends on it

Falcons > Everyone

November 27th, 2011
4:50 pm

Can’t say anything bad about this game with the exception of the usual lull we go through in the 3rd quarter. As far as the 4th and 13 TD pass, there was miscommunication between Owens, Sanders and Franks. That’s why 5-0 followed him downfield and eventually got beat on an unfortunate nice throw and catch.

Once again, Matt Ryan gets it done when the run game sputters and the defense got the stop when it mattered the most. Onward to Houston.

GT97

November 27th, 2011
4:53 pm

Amen to Leeman Bennett’s comment – “Who would have thought Owens would have saved a game~”. That guy is the piece that breaks our secondary every time.

E Dub

November 27th, 2011
4:53 pm

It would be nice if the Falcons could develop a killer instinct to put teams away early, like Green Bay or New Orleans for that matter. It appears that the players may have it but the coaches (namely the play caller) do not. It has not improved from week to week. We dont play well with a lead. Nonetheless, in this league a win is a win.

Realfalconfan

November 27th, 2011
4:53 pm

Bout dam time owens is learning to play now!! He might be learning!!

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
4:56 pm

@ D. Led

During the game the reporters commented on how with M Ryan running the no huddle, Mike Smith was calling the plays. During which the camera was showing Mike Mularkey in the coaches box. Do you know if this is true?

Eddie Mcshan

November 27th, 2011
5:00 pm

Good they got the win but the ultra conservative play calling is gonna catch up with us if we get into the tournament. Winning teams play as if they are behind regardless of the score. Better ratchet up the intensity as the team hits the road next week.

Flash

November 27th, 2011
5:01 pm

The falcons are not tough enough they need to finish and shut up and play big boy football.first round losers at best.

phil

November 27th, 2011
5:01 pm

phil

November 27th, 2011
5:02 pm

Tom Brady is clearly overrated…

Mike Franklin

November 27th, 2011
5:04 pm

Just a note to mention that our offense needs to eliminate the drop-sees. If our receivers were catching those balls in their hands, the score might have been a lot sweeter.

Mrsbanks

November 27th, 2011
5:05 pm

I would love to have a Sunday where I can chill like a Packers fan….knowing the win is coming! Thank God MN didn’t challenge that last run by Harvin cause he had a TD….I don’t see my Falcons playing past the New Years Day game against Tampa! :(

gg

November 27th, 2011
5:07 pm

hey BG falcon, i can tell you what happened on that 4 and 13 play. our idiot Def. Coordinator puts no pressure whatsoever on a rookie QB and this allows him to make a perfect throw and also Grimes was out and appeared that no one even bothered to touch Harvin which allowed him to sprint down the field…i can not even stand to look at BVG…he makes me want to vomit. is it just me or does anyone else just notice how much talent the FAlcons have and yet it’s being wasted by terrible play calling???

Eddie Mcshan

November 27th, 2011
5:07 pm

Well I see them making the playoffs. However Mike Smith needs to play to win, not to avoid a loss

Mr. Belichick

November 27th, 2011
5:08 pm

TD has no clue.

phil

November 27th, 2011
5:08 pm

Fire Bernie Fine!

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
5:11 pm

@ mrs banks

“Thank God MN didn’t challenge that last run by Harvin cause he had a TD”

That last effort where he broke the plain was after the refs blew the whistlle. What prob happened, falcons defense players let up after thet heard the whistle.

GDawg

November 27th, 2011
5:15 pm

Love to see what the Falcons could do if they played 60 min.

Eddie Mcshan

November 27th, 2011
5:19 pm

They can’t because the coaches ease up as soon as they get the lead.

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
5:19 pm

Does anyone know if Baker or Svitek played?

Eddie Mcshan

November 27th, 2011
5:25 pm

Svitek started in place of Baker today

DirtyBird87

November 27th, 2011
5:27 pm

sam baker, looks like you can keep that bench nice and warm.

CGD..

November 27th, 2011
5:29 pm

Hey D-Led you still believe these Fal-cons are last years Green Bay?

What kind of smoke was that? lmbo…….

2-9 team really? Exciting??????????????????????????????????????Hugh?
Yawn…..6 weeks ta go Melt!

gg

November 27th, 2011
5:32 pm

fire BVG Now.we are better with no one calling defensive plays!

D man

November 27th, 2011
5:36 pm

Falcons are on a roll, 5 out of 6 with five to go. Texans will be playing with a 3rd string QB, then Jacksonville and Carolina should be 3 more wins going into NO where we need some payback. Then close out the division lead with a win against Tampa. Here we go…

D man

November 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Defense has played great, except on 3rd down…

DC Dirty Bird

November 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Games like these explain why we haven’t won a playoff game with this coaching staff.

B'Red

November 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Great win. But why does Michael Turner look like he is running in slow motion.

Steak

November 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Julio is a superstar! By the way. Did he play today?