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NFL: Falcons soar past Jaguars to remain in NFC playoff race

Associated Press Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan, left, works under pressure as Jaguars' defensive end Jeremy Mincey pursues during the first half Thursday in Atlanta.

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons had been waiting all season for a complete game.

They finally got it.

Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes in less than three quarters of work, John Abraham had 3½ sacks and the Falcons clinched a fourth straight winning season with a 41-14 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.

This one was over by halftime. Atlanta (9-5) led 27-0 when the teams trotted to the locker room, Blaine Gabbert and the shellshocked Jaguars (4-10) saddled with a net passing total of minus-1 yard, the Falcons well on the way to strengthening their hold on an NFC wild-card spot.

Gabbert had one of his worst games in a miserable rookie season, coughing up the ball twice on hits by Abraham. Both fumbles led to Atlanta scores, with defensive tackle Corey Peters scooping up the second one and trotting to the end zone early in the third quarter for a touchdown that ended any thought of the Jaguars getting back in the game.

Ryan was 19 of 26 for 224 yards and three touchdowns, with a season-high rating of 137.3. Roddy White caught two of the scoring passes, Julio Jones the other.

Gabbert was 12 of 22 for 141 yards, also throwing an interception to cap off a truly awful night spent of bad decisions when he wasn't running for his life. He got most of his yards on a meaningless final drive, hitting Chastin West on a 16-yard touchdown with 59 seconds remaining. Jacksonville's other touchdown came on a blocked punt trailing 41-0.

The injury-riddled Jaguars, playing out the season with an interim coach and a new owner, were coming off their best game of the season, having scored 41 straight points in a 41-14 victory over Tampa Bay. But, playing their third game in 11 days, they couldn't build any momentum to close out the season strong.

Falcons 41, Jaguars 14

Jacksonville 0 0 7 7--14

Atlanta 10 17 14 0--41


Atl--Jones 29 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 10:51.

Atl--Bryant 33 FG, 3:18.


Atl--Turner 5 run (Bryant kick), 13:03.

Atl--White 6 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 1:49.

Atl--Bryant 31 FG, :00.


Atl--Peters 13 fumble return (Bryant kick), 13:33.

Atl--White 29 pass from Ryan (Bryant kick), 6:38.

Jac--Potter 46 blocked punt return (Scobee kick), 2:12.


Jac--West 16 pass from Gabbert (Scobee kick), :59.


Jac Atl

First downs 12 20

Total Net Yards 207 373

Rushes-yards 19-116 35-97

Passing 91 276

Punt Returns 1-0 4-28

Kickoff Returns 6-143 2-53

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-21

Comp-Att-Int 12-22-1 24-32-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 5-50 1-4

Punts 7-43.4 5-40.8

Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0

Penalties-Yards 5-40 4-31

Time of Possession 21:29 38:31

Individual statistics

RUSHING--Jacksonville: Jones-Drew 17-112, Gabbert 1-5, D.Harris 1-(minus 1). Atlanta: Turner 19-61, Snelling 5-22, Rodgers 8-10, Jones 1-6, Redman 2-(minus 2).

PASSING--Jacksonville: Gabbert 12-22-1-141. Atlanta: Ryan 19-26-0-224, Redman 5-6-0-56.

RECEIVING--Jacksonville: West 3-38, Lewis 3-30, Price 2-39, Dillard 2-12, Cloherty 1-21, Jones-Drew 1-1. Atlanta: White 10-135, Jones 5-85, Snelling 4-26, Turner 2-4, Gonzalez 1-14, Douglas 1-12, Rodgers 1-4.