Falcons clinch playoff berth

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Atlanta Falcons' stunning turnaround season will roll on into the playoffs, thanks to Matt Ryan's unflappable poise, Justin Blalock's hustle and the generosity of the Minnesota Vikings.

Ryan threw for a touchdown and made no mistakes, Blalock recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score and the Vikings committed four turnovers in 24-17 loss Sunday that clinched a postseason berth for the Falcons.

Michael Turner rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons (10-5), who were 4-12 a year ago and ended the season without a head coach or a franchise quarterback.

With Mike Smith calling the shots and Ryan's steady hand, the Falcons have that and so much more now.


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