Streaking Falcons keep finding wins in 4th quarter

Atlanta beat New Orleans and San Francisco when trailing after three quarters. They trailed at halftime of last week’s 20-10 win at Cleveland.

Atlanta’s only loss was a 15-9 overtime game at Pittsburgh to open the season. The Falcons recovered with a 41-7 rout of Arizona, followed by an overtime win at the Saints.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez said the Falcons aren’t lucky, they’re good.

“To me it’s indicative of a championship caliber team, from what I’ve seen over the years,” said Gonzalez, in his 14th season. “You look at the Saints last year, they had some squeakers. I know both times we lost to them last year we felt we should have won that game. Good teams find a way to win those close games.

“You can’t call anything luck in this league. It’s just perseverance and staying on your game and grinding it out, no matter what.”

Turner, sixth in the league with 421 yards rushing, has helped Atlanta wear down opponents. The Falcons have outscored opponents 53-19 in the second half, including 27-6 in the fourth quarter.

“We’re running the ball good toward the end of the game,” White said. “That’s the key to success in this league. If you can run the ball in the fourth quarter and keep the sticks moving and convert in the red zone, you usually tend to win.”

Notes: Smith said an MRI revealed LB Sean Weatherspoon has a right knee sprain. Weatherspoon did not practice Wednesday and will be held out Thursday. Smith said he will “look at what happens” with the rookie starter on Friday and Saturday. Stephen Nicholas, who started 13 games last season, would start if Weatherspoon is held out. … Smith confirmed second-year safety William Moore is the starter ahead of Erik Coleman. Moore has two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Moore took the starting job when Coleman was out with a knee injury and he kept the job when Coleman returned in a backup role last week.

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