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Brady, Ryan meet as Patriots visit Falcons on TSN

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The Sports Network
9/29/2013 12:03:20 PM
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(Sports Network) - The faces may change but the winning continues for New England, something the Atlanta Falcons will try to stop on Sunday night.

The primetime matchup will feature the two active quarterbacks with the best winning percentages as starters when the Patriots' Tom Brady (139-39, .781) and Atlanta's Matt Ryan (57-24, .704) meet.

You can see all the action on TSN with coverage beginning with Football Night in America at 7pm et/4pm pt.

Both clubs advanced to their respective conference's championship game a year ago, but the Falcons have stumbled out of the gate this time around.

Despite drastic changes at the skill positions around Brady, though, the Pats are at a more comfortable 3-0 after a 23-3 win over Tampa Bay in Week 3. Brady, who has now thrown a touchdown pass in 51 consecutive games, connected with rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins on two TD passes against the Bucs.

"We had good contributions from all three phases on offense, defense and special teams," said New England head coach Bill Belichick, who earned his 208th career win, one shy of tying Pittsburgh legend Chuck Noll for fifth place on the NFL's all-time list. "I thought our situational football was better: third down, red area, fourth down, kicking game. I thought we made some improvement this week; that was good to see."

Brady completed 25-of-36 throws for 225 yards with one interception for the Patriots, who have opened a campaign at 3-0 for the first time since their undefeated regular season six years ago. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was inactive once again as his 2013 debut remains on hold, while slot receiver Danny Amendola missed a second straight game with a groin injury.

Rookie wideout Aaron Dobson had 52 yards on seven receptions.

"I feel good, we're 3-0," Pats All-Pro nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "You can't ask for anything better."

Actually 4-0 would be better, but the Falcons will be in desperation mode after a last-second defeat in Miami (27-23) in Week 3. At home, Atlanta has won 12 of its past 13 regular-season contests.

"I'm looking forward to having a big week," Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant said. "I can't wait. I know we're all looking forward to it. We've got a bad taste in our mouth right now, so we're just looking forward to getting back to grinding."

Ryan had 231 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-38 passing against the Dolphins for Atlanta, which dominated time of possession in the opening half, holding the ball for nearly 23 minutes.

With Steven Jackson (hamstring) out, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling shared the running back duties for Atlanta. Rodgers finished with a career- high 86 yards rushing, while Snelling had 53 yards on the ground and caught four passes for 58 yards.

Atlanta's Julio Jones led all receivers with 115 yards on nine catches for the Falcons, who lost despite a 377-285 edge in total offensive yards.

"This was a game where I think we had a ton of opportunities to have chances to win the game, we just didn't make the plays when they were presented to us," Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said.

The all-time series between the Pats and Falcons is even at six apiece but the Pats have won three straight and haven't lost to Atlanta since the turn of the century.

Tom Brady (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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