3. Franks and Owens held up in coverage. Dominique Franks, who made his first NFL start, and Christopher Owens held up in coverage. Franks started at left cornerback for Brent Grimes and moved inside in the nickel to replace Kelvin Hayden. In the nickel, Owens played left cornerback. Franks was in coverage on Andre Johnson's 50-yard catch. Franks finished with three tackles.
No new injuries were reported. Hayden (dislocated toe), Grimes (knee) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh) were inactive because of injury. William Moore (quadriceps) has been active for the last two games, but has not played.
The numbers game
The Falcons entered the game as the No. 2-ranked defense against the run, giving up 85.3 yards per game. The Texans rushed for 162 yards on 44 carries (3.7 per carry); the Falcons had given up just 146 yards in their three previous games.
Houston running back Arian Foster, who rushed for 111 yards on 31 carries, became the first back in 15 games to rush for more than 100 yards against the Falcons.
Punter Matt Bosher’s average on four punts. He averaged 50.4 on five punts in the previous game against Minnesota.
The Falcons were held to 70 yards rushing on 18 carries (3.9 per carry).
Ryan has passed for 3,154 yards this season. This is the third time he’s thrown for more than 3,000 yards in four seasons.
“It was a tough game. We left some opportunities out there. A couple of mistakes, here and there and we ended up giving them the game.”
-- Abraham on the 17-10 loss to the Texans.
The Falcons had seven penalties for 43 yards, but none more costly than Dunta Robinson’s holding call, which nullified Mike Peterson’s 31-yard interception return for a touchdown. ... Running back Michael Turner has 233 carries for 992 yards and eight touchdowns this season. ... Cornerback Darrin Walls was active for the first time this season and played on special teams. ... Moore and wide receiver Kerry Meier did not play.
The Falcons (7-5) will face the Carolina Panthers (4-8) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The Falcons defeated the Panthers 31-17 on Oct. 16 at the Georgia Dome.