Streaking Falcons keep finding wins in 4th quarter

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FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. (AP) - Michael Turner doesn’t mind Atlanta being described as a blue-collar team, he actually thinks it fits the Falcons.

“You can say that about us. We’re just going to go to work and put our hard hats on,” Turner said Wednesday. “We do that every week. We’re not a flashy team. We’re not a finesse team.

“We just like to get the job done.”

Turner’s 55-yard run in the Falcons’ 20-10 win at Cleveland last week was the team’s longest of the season. Roddy White’s 45-yard touchdown catch in the win also was the team’s longest of the season.

The Falcons don’t normally rely on long runs and passes. Quarterback Matt Ryan ranks 21st in the league with his average of 6.8 yards per attempt.

The Falcons overcome their lack of flash by coming up big in clutch situations. They have won four straight with strong defense, a knack for comebacks and some unusual big plays.

Defensive end Kroy Biermann clinched the win over Cleveland with a rare 31-yard interception return. He tipped a pass at the line, dove to make the interception and then scrambled to his feet for the score.

Two weeks ago, White had the key play following one of only three interceptions for Ryan this season. White chased down 49ers cornerback Nate Clements and stripped the ball away to set up Matt Bryant’s winning field goal with 2 seconds remaining in Atlanta’s 16-14 win.

“The biggest thing about this team is we’ve won a bunch of different ways,” said center Todd McClure. “It hasn’t been one phase of our team carrying the team. It’s been a bunch of different ways by a bunch of different guys.

“If you can do that and win the turnover game, you’re gonna be pretty successful in this league.”

And if you can play defense, which the Falcons do better than most.

Atlanta leads the league with 10 interceptions, including two by safety William Moore. And the 70 points the Falcons have given up is the fewest allowed by any team that has played five games.

The Falcons have allowed an NFL-low six points in the fourth quarter, according to STATS, Inc. Every other team in the league has given up at least two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

“We haven’t had any easy wins,” Moore said. “We disregard everyone’s record when we’re playing. As you see, every game has been a close one and we’ve had to fight to the end. We’ve had to play two overtime games. It’s been tough to get to where we’re at, but it’s only the beginning.”

The Falcons, 4-1 entering Sunday’s game at Philadelphia, are 3-0 when trailing at halftime.

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