Although Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a single season, the Atlanta Falcons had a bigger picture in mind: home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Matt Ryan had four touchdown passes toward that goal to lead the Falcons over the Lions, 31-18, on Saturday at Ford Field.
With the win, Atlanta improved to 13-2 on the year and clinched the top spot in the NFC.
The Falcons jumped out to a 21-3 lead on the strength of three first-half touchdown tosses by Ryan before the Lions scored 13 unanswered points to cut Atlanta's lead to 21-16 with 13:26 left in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta answered on its ensuing offensive possession as Ryan connected with Michael Palmer for his fourth touchdown pass of the game to put the Falcons up 28-16 with 7:12 remaining in the game.
Ryan finished the game 25-of-32 passing for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Roddy White was Ryan's favorite target against the Lions as he had eight receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson had 11 receptions for 225 yards to pass Jerry Rice to become the NFL's single-season receiving yards leader.
The loss was Detroit's seventh in a row.
Fantasy studs and duds
Roddy White had eight receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons while quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns.
Stafford was 37-of-56 passing, which helped him pass Hall of Fame Lions signalcaller Bobby Layne for the most pass completions in a career.
Did they cover?
Atlanta was favored by 4 points and the Falcons covered the spread.