|Date of game: 11/30/2014
Recap: Atlanta vs. Arizona
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Bryant connected on all five of his field-goal attempts and Matt Ryan finished with 361 passing yards as the Atlanta Falcons claimed a 29-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 action.
Ryan was 30-of-41 with scoring throws to Julio Jones and Levine Toilolo for the Falcons (5-7), who are still tied atop the NFC South with New Orleans.
Jones led all receivers thanks to 189 yards on 10 receptions, Harry Douglas added 116 yards on nine grabs, and Steven Jackson contributed 101 yards on 18 carries.
Drew Stanton was picked off twice, completing 24-of-39 attempts with a touchdown for the Cardinals (9-3), who have dropped back-to-back games.
In the absence of inactive wideout Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown totaled 75 yards on seven catches.
"We can look good for four or five plays and then we short circuit," said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. "Everybody is looking for answers. You look in the mirror. Don't lie to that guy."
Atlanta picked up the game's first points on the opening possession of the contest as Ryan found Toilolo from one yard out.
After the Cards went three-and-out, Devin Hester appeared to have taken the ensuing punt 70 yards for a touchdown, but the score was wiped out on a facemask penalty and the Falcons retained possession on the Arizona 32.
Ryan later had an interception overturned by review, and Bryant kicked a 20- yard field goal to cap that series. Four plays into the Cardinals' next series, Dwight Lowery picked off Stanton and returned the ball to the Arizona 32-yard line. Jones was open for a 32-yard scoring strike from Ryan and the Falcons were up 17-0 after one quarter.
"I think the fast start was huge for us," said Ryan. "And it was all three phases, it really was. When you get rolling like that early and you get a little bit of a cushion, it makes a big difference. But I thought we continued to keep the foot on the pedal, too, and play aggressive, which is key when you're going against a really good football team and a really good defense.
"We knew coming in that this was going to be one of those games where there were peaks and valleys and you have to hang on when it's not going your way because they're going to make some plays. And I thought across the board we did a great job of kind of riding that today."
Arizona's first points came on defense, as Rashad Johnson stepped in front of a Ryan pass early in the second and raced 88 yards in the opposite direction.
The Cards got within seven on a 44-yard make from Chandler Catanzaro with 2:42 to play in the half, and Bryant countered from 23 yards out on the final play before halftime.
Bryant's 21-yard field goal, coming with 6:13 to play in the third quarter, was set up by a 41-yard catch from Jones. Bryant connected from 45 yards away early in the fourth, and his 28-yard make with 2:30 to play put the game out of reach.
Stanton found Stepfan Taylor for a 3-yard touchdown with 1:05 left and the conversion run from Taylor was good, making it 29-18.Game Notes
Atlanta racked up exactly 500 yards in total offense, just the seventh time in
franchise history the team has amassed that total in a game ... Jones totaled
132 yards in the first half, the most yards in any half during his career ...
Falcons wideout Roddy White was also inactive ... Arizona was held to 1-of-7
efficiency on third downs, while Atlanta converted 7-of-16 third-down attempts
... Following the game, the Cardinals updated the injury status of the
following players: guard Paul Fanaika, high ankle sprain; safety Tyrann
Mathieu, cracked thumb; running back Andre Ellington, hip pointer.