Defensive effort goes unnoticed

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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.

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Lions quarterback Jon Kitna is pressured by John Abraham, who sparked the Falcons' defense with three sacks.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Lions quarterback Jon Kitna is pressured by John Abraham, who sparked the Falcons' defense with three sacks.

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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