Literally as I was posting the previous update, Matt Ryan came back into the game and in heroic fashion he connected with Harry Douglas on a 49-yard gain. Keep in mind, this was his first play back from injury. What a trooper.
But following that big gain, the Falcons offense stalled. They had a big mismatch as Ryan attempted a shovel pass to Jacquizz Rodgers on third down as multiple Lions were sent blitzing, but the ball fell incomplete. The Falcons would kick a field goal, and Matt Bryant would nail it from 47 yards out. With that, the Falcons extend their lead to 20-9. Even nicer than that is seeing Ryan back in the game. For about five minutes, I was feeling very "panicky."
And then after being so good all game, the Thomas DeCoud/William Moore's collective inability to wrap up bit the Falcons in the arse. After converting a key third down to keep the drive alive, Matt Stafford found Calvin Johnson on a deep post that he would take 57 yards to the house. It was a great pass-and-catch for the Lions. But really Willy Mo, you have to make that tackle!
That score cut the Falcons lead to only four points. All of a sudden, we have a close game once again. But as the third quarter came to a close, Ryan once again was leading a valiant charge towards the Lions' end zone. After a nice 10-yard pass to the ever-reliable Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner showed us why he's called "the Burner" by busting through the Lions' front seven for 50 yards.
The Falcons' lead may have diminished in the third quarter, but that last run by Turner has the Falcons in great position to build on that slim lead once again. Oh ya, and that Matt Ryan guy is healthy. That's cool too.