Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - It was business as usual for Matt Ryan.
For the third straight week, Ryan led the Falcons to a go-ahead scoring drive
and Atlanta is 6-0 for the first time in franchise history.
Matt Bryant kicked a 55-yard field goal with one second remaining and the
Falcons edged the Oakland Raiders, 23-20, on Sunday.
Ryan, who shook off three first-half interceptions, got the ball at his own
20-yard line with 40 seconds left and the game tied at 20-20 following Darren
McFadden's 2-yard TD run.
"We wanted to use up as much time as we possibly could," Oakland head coach
Dennis Allen said of the drive. "Unfortunately we gave them a little bit too
Ryan found Jacquizz Rodgers for gains of seven and nine yards before
hitting Harry Douglas for a short 4-yard pickup to put the ball at the
Falcons' 40-yard line with 26 ticks on the clock.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 two plays later, Ryan fired a 10-yard completion to Tony
Gonzalez to move the chains. With a timeout in hand and 12 seconds to play,
Ryan hit Gonzalez for a 13-yard reception over the middle, which set up
Bryant missed his first field goal of the season earlier in the contest, but
atoned for it by sneaking his field-goal attempt just inside the left upright.
"It's about handling the moment," Bryant said of the game-winning kick.
"Handling adversity, whatever it takes."
Ryan was 5-of-6 for 43 yards on the march.
The fifth-year Boston College product finished the day with 249 yards through
the air with a touchdown on 24-of-37 efficiency for the Falcons (6-0), who
are the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL. The previously undefeated
Houston Texans lost to the Green Bay Packers later on Sunday.
Roddy White caught six balls for 72 yards and a score, while Julio Jones
caught four passes for 63 yards in the win.
As a bonus, Atlanta head coach Mike Smith equaled Dan Reeves for the most
victories in franchise history with 49.
Carson Palmer was 23-of-33 for 353 yards with a touchdown and interception for
Oakland (1-4), which has lost two straight on the heels of its win over the
Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 23.
McFadden ran for 70 yards and a score on 27 carries, while Denarius Moore had
five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown in the setback.
The game was tied at 13-13 in the fourth quarter when Oakland regained
possession at its own 10-yard line following a Falcons punt.
Two plays into the march, Mike Goodson broke off a 43-yard run off the right
tackle to put the ball in Atlanta territory at the 46-yard line. Brandon Myers
took a tight-end screen on the next play into field goal range to the 32-yard
line, but Palmer's lone interception came three snaps later.
Moore ran an out pattern to the right sideline, but Asante Samuel jumped the
route, snatched the pick and ran and strutted the other way 79 yards for the
score and a 20-13 Falcons edge.
"I let the team down," Palmer said of the pick. "Making that mistake I made is
crucial. It's on me."
Undeterred, though, Palmer led his troops down the field for the tying score.
McFadden's score capped off an 8-play, 80-yard trek.
Earlier, it was a mistake-filled first quarter for both teams.
Joselio Hanson intercepted Ryan's pass on Atlanta's opening possession of the
game, but McFadden gave the ball right back to the Falcons three plays later
after a fumble.
The Falcons didn't capitalize, however, as Bryant missed his 43-yard field
goal attempt wide left.
Michael Huff's pick of Ryan on the second play of Atlanta's ensuing series led
to a 52-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal, which made it 3-0 late in the
Ryan and the Falcons countered with a 10-play, 80-yard drive, which was capped
when White hauled in a 4-yard score in the back of the end zone.
Following a 22-yard Janikowski field goal, Tyvon Branch picked off Ryan on
Atlanta's next touch. The Raiders took advantage and found the end zone two
plays later when Palmer flipped a short pass to Moore, who made two defenders
miss crossing the goal line for a 13-7 Oakland edge.
A pair of Bryant field goals, 41 and 20 yards, respectively, in the third
quarter tied the contest.
The Raiders outgained the Falcons, 474-286 ... Oakland won the time of
possession battle, 36:26-23:34 ... Ryan, who tied his career-high with the
three interceptions, also had three against New Orleans in 2009. He had just
three picks coming into the contest.
10/15 00:11:26 ET
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