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Atlanta Falcons Beat Detroit Lions, 31-18, Clinch Home-Field Advantage in NFC Playoffs

Falcons Win
Gregory Shamus, Getty Images

Matt Ryan threw for 279 yards and four touchdown passes, and the Atlanta Falcons beat the Detroit Lions, 31-18, on Saturday night in Detroit to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson broke the NFL single-season receiving yardage mark of 1,848 yards previously held by Jerry Rice. Johnson finished the game with 225 yards on 11 catches.

Atlanta (13-2) never trailed and all but cemented a victory when Ryan connected with tight end Michael Palmer for a touchdown with 7:13 left in the fourth quarter that gave the Falcons a 12-point lead. Atlanta receiver Roddy White caught eight passes for 153 yards, including two scores.

Matthew Stafford threw for 443 yards and an interception for Detroit (4-11), which lost its seventh straight game. The Lions committed three turnovers in the game.

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