Falcons special teams breakdown was costly

Last week, they allowed a 72-yard punt return by New Orleans' Lance Moore that led to the Saints' first touchdown.

Trailing 7-0, the 49ers blocked a Michael Koenen punt and recovered it for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.

The 49ers overloaded the middle and Dominique Zeigler came free. The protection didn't pick up Zeigler and he raced in to deflect the Koenen kick.

Safety Taylor Mays made an acrobatic recovery for the touchdown.

"It was a blocking error," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "The guy came right up the middle. We saw very quickly what had happened. We made that correction and moved on."

Smith was not pleased with the special teams blunder.

"We can not have punts blocked," he said.

Moore retains spot

Strong safety William Moore retained the starting job even though Erik Coleman was active for the game.

Moore turned in a couple of key plays, one an interception in the third quarter to stop a promising San Francisco drive.

"It was just a great call and scheme that we had," Moore said. "Overall, we were just baiting the quarterback."

In the fourth quarter, he came on a delayed blitz, got a sack and forced quarterback Alex Smith into an intentional grounding penalty.

"I was just getting an opportunity to play a little faster and I'm trying to show them what I can do," said Moore, who finished with four tackles.

White welcome in defensive back meetings

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White said he stole a move from the defensive backs to make the strip on 49ers defender Nate Clements.

"Sometimes Roddy thinks he's a defensive back," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "He likes to hang with us and get him a rep in one-on-ones against a receiver. I think that was just the instincts of him thinking that he is a cornerback."

White said he thought of the defensive backs actually stripping him in practice.

"He's accepted; we'll definitely welcome him in the meetings," Robinson said.

Gonzalez hits 12,000-yard mark.

With a 9-yard catch in the second quarter Tony Gonzalez became the first tight end in league history to surpass the 12,000-yard receiving mark. He's the 17th player overall to reach that plateau.

Gonzalez had seven catches for 41 yards, giving him 12,012 on his career.

"At this point, I'll take whatever [records] I can get," Gonzalez said. "But the victory is more important. The milestones and all that stuff is just icing on the cake."

Injury report

Defensive tackle Corey Peters left the game with a back injury. He was replaced by Vance Walker before returning to the game.

Also, linebacker Spencer Adkins left the game with cramps, but he also returned.

Off the opening script

The Falcons did not score on their first possession of the game for the third time this season. They drove to San Francisco's 46 before being forced to punt.

In the opener against Pittsburgh, they picked up a first down by penalty before forced to punt.

Against Arizona, the offense opened with a nine-play, 70-yard touchdown drive.

Against New Orleans, the offense opened the game with a three-and-out punt.

Inactive for the game

Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and wide receiver Micheal Jenkins headed up the list of Falcons who weren't in uniform.

Also inactive for the Falcons were cornerback Dominique Franks, running back Gartrell Johnson, tackle Garrett Reynolds, guard Mike Johnson and defensive tackle Trey Lewis.

John Parker Wilson was declared the third quarterback.

Etc. . .

Wide receiver Harry Douglas caught the second touchdown reception of his career and first of the season in the second quarter. ... Quarterback Mike Ryan completed 26 of 43 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. He improved his record to 15-1 at the Georgia Dome. ... Linebacker Curtis Lofton recorded his second sack of the season when he tackled Alex Smith is the second quarter. Lofton also had his first career interception.

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