Falcons' third-down woes on offense concern Smith

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2012-11-30 16:53

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Coach Mike Smith is giving the Atlanta Falcons four days off following a victory over the rival New Orleans Saints.

When they return to practice on Tuesday, Smith will have the offense focus hard on correcting third-down problems that could have cost them against the Saints.

Atlanta, one of the NFL's most efficient offenses in third-down efficiency, converted none of its first nine chances before Julio Jones' fourth-quarter catch set up Matt Bryant's field goal and the game's final points.

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The Falcons (11-1) started with a strong rushing attack and finished with five runs over 12 yards.

During the middle of the game, however, Atlanta fell flat. Pressure on quarterback Matt Ryan, coverage on Roddy White and a sluggish run game stalled the offense.

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