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The Early Lead
Posted at 02:44 PM ET, 12/16/2011

Roddy White’s big night helps Falcons drill Jaguars


Not even teammate Tony Gonzalez can keep Roddy White from catching touchdown passes these days. (Scott Cunningham - Getty Images)
It seems most of the headlines involving Atlanta Falcons receivers this season have featured just about everyone other than their top wideout.

Tony Gonzalez’s strong start reminded people that even at 35, the guy is still one of the best at the tight end position.

Julio Jones needed all of three catches to put up 131 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9, displaying the ability that led the Falcons to trade up to draft him.

But what about Roddy White? For those wondering, he’s still a playmaker and Matt Ryan’s go-to target, and he showed why on Thursday night. White hauled in 10 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns as Atlanta rolled to a 41-14 win against Jacksonville.

With four wins in their last five games, the Falcons are making their playoff push and White is helping to lead the charge.

“I feel like we’ve hit our stride,” White said.

Over the last five weeks, there’s little doubt the three-time Pro Bowl selection has hit his stride. During that stretch, White is averaging 107 yards and has five touchdowns. Three of his four 100-yard receiving games have come over that span and he now has two 10-catch games in his last four. Thursday night White became only the eighth receiver in NFL history with 80 catches and 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons.

And in a season that has seen fellow top tier receivers Andre Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, Miles Austin, DeSean Jackson and Kenny Britt all miss time with injuries, White has been remarkably durable. He has yet to miss a game in his seven-year NFL career.

The Falcons currently hold the fifth seed in the NFC playoff race. They close out their season with a “Monday Night Football” visit to New Orleans and a home game against Tampa Bay.

By  |  02:44 PM ET, 12/16/2011

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