Defensive effort goes unnoticed

ATLANTA --- On a day when the Atlanta Falcons debuted their new-look offense in a big way, one of the team's defensive stars had a big day of his own.


John Abraham recorded his first three-sack game since 2004. He said he didn't mind if the offense got most of the attention.

"They did such a good job of putting the ball in the end zone, and it gave the defense time to relax, pin our ears back and play football," he said.

TURNING POINT: Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy had the biggest play for the defense, an interception early in the third quarter when the Lions, then trailing only 21-14, had the ball on the Atlanta 38.

"They had the momentum," Milloy said. "They scored two drives before the half. It was a good play. I'm just trying to do my part."

RIGGS LOSES RECORD: Former Falcons running back Gerald Riggs , who now works for an Atlanta TV station, was watching from the press box as Michael Turner broke his team record for most yards rushing in a game.

Riggs set the old mark of 202 yards at New Orleans on Sept. 2, 1984 on 35 carries. Turner rushed for 220 yards on 22 carries.

"I didn't even know I was close to breaking a record today," Turner said. "It was just something that happened."

MILESTONES: Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking , a Georgia Tech alum, made his 113th consecutive start, passing former center Jeff Van Note for the second-longest streak in team history. Former offensive lineman Bob Whitfield holds the record of 123.

TRUMPING A BISHOP: Matt Ryan became the first player to throw a TD pass on his first career attempt since New England's Michael Bishop on Oct. 8, 2000.

The pass was a 62-yarder to Michael Jenkins on the team's first drive. On an interesting side note, Bishop never threw another touchdown pass.


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