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Falcons 23, Cardinals 19

The SportsXchange

ATLANTA -- Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons were bad, but victorious once again.

Ryan overcame a career-worst five interceptions to lead another fourth-quarter comeback in the Falcons' 23-19 victory over the reeling Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

Ryan threw for 301 yards on 28-of-46 passing but three five interceptions.

Jonathan Babineaux had a momentum-shifting fumble return for a touchdown, Roddy White had another big game and Michael Turner scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Falcons, who improved to 9-1. White had eight catches for 123 yards.

Atlanta owns the best record in the NFC, but still has plenty to prove after another uneven performance against a team perceived to be inferior.

Arizona would certainly trade positions, though. The Cardinals (4-6) dropped their sixth straight game, after starting the season 4-0, and have major issues at quarterback.

The Falcons, who lost for the first time last week at the New Orleans Saints, were sloppy from the opening whistle. White dropped Ryan's first pass attempt, which was intercepted by Rashad Johnson and returned to the Atlanta 9. That set up LaRod Stephens-Howling's short touchdown run, giving Arizona a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game.

The Falcons dropped two more passes and failed to pick up a blitz on their second possession. The Cardinals capitalized with a 48-yard Jay Feely field goal to make it 10-0 with 11 minutes to play in the first quarter.

It was 13-3, before Babineaux made a game-changing play. John Abraham caused Ryan Lindley to fumble before the rookie quarterback's arm was moving forward. Cardinals players believed the play had been ruled an incomplete pass and were headed off the field with the ball bouncing on the ground. Babineaux alertly scooped it up and strolled into the end zone for the Falcons' first touchdown.

Lindley replaced ineffective starter John Skelton in the second quarter. Lindley didn't look ready for his first NFL game action.

With the Cardinals trailing 23-19 late in the fourth quarter, Sam Acho picked off a batted at the Atlanta 32. But Lindley couldn't lead a drive and his fourth-down pass attempt to Larry Fitzgerald was ruled incomplete.

Lindley finished 9 of 20 for 64 yards. Arizona finished with 41 net passing yards.

Notes: The Falcons head into Thanksgiving week with a comfortable lead in the NFC South, but are in the middle of a stretch of three games in 11 days. They are at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, before returning home for a Thursday night game against the Saints on Nov. 29. ... Atlanta fans are frustrated by RB Michael Turner's production and showered him with boos on his early touches. ... Falcons starting CB Asante Samuel hurt his shoulder on a pass-breakup in the first quarter and had to be taken back to the locker room. ... Arizona QB Kevin Kolb missed his fourth straight game. ... Arizona DB/PR Patrick Peterson injured his hamstring in the second half. ... Arizona DE Calais Campbell was inactive with a calf injury.

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