Falcons beat Lions, claim NFC's top playoff seed

DETROIT -- The Atlanta Falcons have earned home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Matt Ryan matched a career high with four touchdown passes, two to Roddy White, and the Falcons led from start to finish in a 31-18 victory over the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.


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The Falcons (13-2) pulled away with Ryan's fourth TD pass to wide-open tight end Michael Palmer in the fourth quarter and Matt Bryant's 20-yard field goal with 3:05 left that gave them a 15-point lead.

Detroit (4-11) dropped its seventh straight game.

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice's NFL single-season yards receiving mark of 1,848. He also became the first player with 100 yards receiving in eight straight games and the first with 10 receptions in four games in a row.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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