(Thursday, December 15th)
Final Score: Atlanta 41, Jacksonville 14
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan and Roddy White hooked up on two touchdowns and the Falcons completely shut down the Jaguars en route to a 41-14 throttling at the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons (9-5), who scored 24 unanswered points in a comeback win over the Panthers on Sunday, put up the first 41 points Thursday night to cruise to their fourth win in five games.
Ryan also threw a touchdown pass to Julio Jones and finished with 224 yards on 19-of-26 passing in less than three quarters. White caught 10 passes for 135 yards, while Michael Turner ran for 61 yards and a score in the rout.
John Abraham had 3 1/2 sacks and forced a fumble that led to a touchdown to highlight an Atlanta defense that held the lowly Jaguars (4-10) to 207 yards, most coming in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already determined.
Maurice Jones-Drew was the only offensive threat for Jacksonville, amassing 112 yards on 17 carries. Blaine Gabbert, the fourth straight rookie quarterback the Falcons have faced, completed 12-of-22 throws for 141 yards and a touchdown, but threw an interception and two lost fumbles.
Atlanta continued its push to an NFC wild-card berth with a wire-to-wire beatdown. Ryan capped a seven-play, 75-yard opening drive with a touchdown pass to Jones, who turned a four-yard in route upfield and raced in for a 29- yard TD.
"We didn't miss a beat," Ryan said. "We started fast and kept that momentum going throughout the entire game."
Matt Bryant added a 33-yard field goal later in the first quarter, and Turner went in from five yards out early in the second after Jarett Dillard muffed a punt.
White scored on a six-yard reception in the back of the end zone with 1:49 remaining in the half, and a Gabbert fumble resulted in a Bryant 31-yard field goal just before the break.
On the third play of the second half, Abraham came up with a strip-sack of Gabbert, and Corey Peters recovered the loose ball at the Jacksonville 13-yard line and rumbled into the end zone untouched.
White's 29-yard catch-and-run made it 41-0 with 6:38 left in the third.
The Jaguars, who crushed Tampa Bay on Sunday, 41-14, finally got on the scoreboard when Zach Potter returned a blocked punt 46 yards for a TD.
Chastin West's 16-yard touchdown grab in the fourth capped the scoring.
"It's hard to lose like this," Jaguars offensive lineman Guy Whimper said. "We just have to forget about it and go on to the next game."
Atlanta trails the NFC South-leading Saints by a 1 1/2 games and visits New Orleans next week...Jones logged 85 yards on five receptions...The Falcons are 22-0 when Ryan has a 100-plus rating. He recorded a 137.3 rating on Thursday...On White's first touchdown, he and Ryan passed Steve Bartkowski and Alfred Jenkins for most TD connections in franchise history. The duo now has 33.
12/16 01:31:09 ET
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