Slow starts, knee issues, changing quarterbacks. Through it all, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White continues to put up numbers.
With his second catch of the first quarter Sunday against Buffalo, White surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for a third consecutive season, something only Andre Rison had done before him in a Falcons jersey.
Rison made his mark in the high-octane Jerry Glanville offenses of the early 1990s, posting four seasons of more than 1,000 yards in his five years in Atlanta.
White said he knows how significant it is to have his name next to Rison's in the Falcons' record books.
"‘Bad Moon' Rison, man," White said, referring to Rison's popular nickname. "He was a player, man. He played for a long time in this league. Just to be in the company with those guys, it means I'm stepping up and doing my job. I've just got to continue to do that."
He certainly did Sunday, catching a 42-yard touchdown to start the scoring on the Falcons' first play from scrimmage, then finished with 139 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second-highest yardage total of the season and his first multiple-touchdown game since Oct. 11 against San Francisco.
Atlanta coach Mike Smith said White continues to not only put up numbers but make plays when the team needs them.
"He had some clutch catches," Smith said. "He had some third-down and fourth-down catches, and those are really important. We had to go for it a time or two, and he made a couple of very big plays on third and fourth down. Roddy continues to play at a high level for us."
He does so despite some earlier setbacks that might have kept some players off the field.
During the middle part of the season, White was dealing with a strain in his right knee that he said is among the first injuries he's really had to work through during a season.
He continued to play and catch multiple balls in every game, though, and he said it's been a challenging year to keep going.
"This has been the toughest [season]," White said. "Last year, I didn't get [any] injuries. The year before, I didn't get hurt. This year, I had the MCL [Medial collateral ligament] and the ankle and things like that.
"I learned how to play through injuries. Getting out there and just playing through it, man ... I'm too dumb not to go out there. I love football."
White's 139 yards leaves him with 1,087 going into the Falcons' final game of the season next week at Tampa Bay. He needs 116 yards to surpass his 2007-08 total of 1,202. His career high was set with 1,382 last season. He has a career-high 10 receiving touchdowns this year.