Staff Report

The Falcons stayed atop the NFC when Bridge City native Matt Bryant kicked a 47-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining Sunday for a 20-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers, one of the teams trying to chase down Atlanta in the conference standings.

Bryant had to make his winning kick twice.

The Packers called a timeout just before he knocked his first attempt right down the middle. No problem. The 35-year-old had already made two game-winning kicks this season, and No. 3 had plenty of distance as it hooked slightly but stayed several feet inside the left upright.

“Pressure is what you feel when you’re not prepared,” Bryant told reporters. “I’ve been preparing for that since I was 6 years old. Was there a little bit of pressure? Yeah. But I was prepared.”

His do-over capped a game between playoff contenders that lived up to all the hype. The Falcons have won five in a row for their longest streak since the 1998 season, when the team reached its only Super Bowl.