Falcons vs. Redskins: Instant Grades and Analysis for Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons have defeated the Washington Redskins on a road trip to FedEx Field. The Falcons won late in the game by forcing multiple interceptions on defense and scoring 17 points in the final quarter.
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At the end of the first quarter, the Falcons and Redskins are tied 0-0.
Ryan Kerrigan got an interception for a touchdown on a terrible throw by Matt Ryan. The Redskins are leading 7-0 with 11:13 left in the second half.
Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for the one-yard touchdown to cap off a touchdown drive. The Falcons and Redskins are tied 7-7 heading into the half.
Billy Cundiff finally hit another one of his field goals bringing the Redskins ahead by three. The Redskins lead 10-7 with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones for an acrobatic 18-yard touchdown catch. The Falcons lead 14-10 with 13:23 left in the game.
Kirk Cousins hit Santana Moss for a 77-yard touchdown pass. The Redskins lead 17-14 with 12:24 left on the clock.
Matt Bryant hit a 53-yard field goal to tie the game up. The Falcons and Redskins are tied 17-17 with 7:42 left in the game.
Michael Turner ran the ball in from 13 yards out to bring the Falcons up seven. The Falcons lead 24-17 with 2:52 left in the game.
The game ended with the Falcons winning 24-17 and going 5-0 for the first time in team history.
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Ryan was efficient and made good throws all game. However, he did have a couple questionable ones that were either intercepted or almost intercepted. He finished the game 34-for-52 (65.4 percent) for 345 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Ryan went three-for-three in the first drive of the quarter for 23 yards and a touchdown. On the second drive, Ryan took a sack and made a bad throw on a third down but drove the Falcons into range for the field goal and a tie.
On a late drive in the fourth quarter, Ryan was three-for-three for 51 yards and set up a huge Michael Turner touchdown run. Ryan had a four yard run on the final offensive play of the game.
On the first drive, Ryan went one-for-two on two good throws, but the Falcons didn't get the pass interference call. The Falcons were driving down the field. Ryan has been quick and efficient all day. He finished the third quarter 26-for-42 for 239 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Ryan was doing well and had the Falcons moving the ball and then he made the worst throw he has all year. He threw an interception for a touchdown to Ryan Kerrigan on a screen. On the next drive, he was able to get the offense to drive again, but yet again, he created a turnover and gave the ball to the Redskins at their own 32-yard line.
On the final drive of the half, Ryan led the Falcons to the red zone with quick efficient passing. He brought the team into position for their first score of the game. Ryan hit Gonzalez with 30 second left in the half for the Falcons first touchdown of the game.
On the first drive, Ryan was efficient and accurate. He had just two missed passes from bad throws and one ball was dropped. He finished the first drive going five-for-eight for 36 yards. On the second drive, Ryan went three-and-out with two bad passes. Ryan was able to force some momentum on the drive, but the team still wasn't able to score any points.
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The offense was quick and efficient all game, but they weren't able to score at the same clip that they have all year. Once they finally got into a rhythm, they scored 17 points in the final quarter to finish off the Redskins.
The first play of the quarter, Rodgers caught the ball and ran it for the first down and the Redskins 15-yard line. Ryan hit Turner behind the line on a ball that went for a three-yard loss. On second-and 13, Ryan hit Julio Jones for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Jason Snelling caught a short pass to open the next drive and gained nine yards; however, the Falcons chose to take a five yard penalty. On the 25-yard line, Ryan handed it to Turner for a tough four yards. On second-and-four, Turner took it another eight yards for the first down.
On first down, Ryan made a bad throw to Roddy White that was almost intercepted. On second down, Ryan hit Harry Douglas for a 19-yard pass and another first down. The next play, Ryan hit Gonzalez for another 13-yard catch.
From the 31-yard line, Turner got another three yards. On second-and-seven, Ryan got sacked after the play action to Turner. On third-and-14, Ryan's pass got deflected at the line by Barry Coefield to set up the 53-yard field goal attempt.
Turner opened up the next drive with a four yard gain. On second-and-six, Ryan hit Gonzalez for another catch and first down. On first-and-10 from the 48, Turner got stonewalled for just one yard. The very next play, Ryan hit Julio Jones for a huge play down to the 22-yard line.
Jason Snelling took the next first down play for another nine yards on a short pass. On second-and-one from the 13, Michael Turner found the huge hole for a crucial touchdown.
The final offensive drive of the game started with no-gain run to Turner followed by a one-yard Turner run. On third-and-nine from their own 41-yard line, Ryan got four yards on a running play but forced the punt with 1:30 left in the game.
The Falcons opened up the half with a Jason Snelling run for two yards. The Redskins got away with an easy pass interference call on second down to force the third down. On third down, Gonzalez got just a couple of yards to force the punt and a three-and-out.
The Falcons tried to hit Hawley again short for a quick pass, but he dropped it again. Ryan had a bad throw on second down to force a third-and-10 pass. Roddy White got the 17-yard catch for the first down. Turner gained another five yards on the ground right after.
Turner got no gain on the second down play to force yet another third-and-five. Matt Ryan ran for the first down on third down to extend the drive another set of downs. On first down, he missed Jacquizz Rodgers high, but then hit Gonzalez for a seven-yard gain to set up a third-and-three. On third down, Jacquizz Rodgers got stopped for a one-yard gain to force another punt.
Starting at the Redskins 47-yard line, Ryan hit Roddy White for a 20-yard catch to the 27-yard line. Michael Turner dropped the first down pass to set up a second-and-10 from the 27. Ryan hit Turner with the pass for five yards to close the quarter out.
Despite not having excellent field position to start, Ryan stepped up in the pocket and hit Tony Gonzalez for his fifth catch of the game and another first down. On first down, Ryan tried to dump it off to Joe Hawley, but then Hawley almost threw it away to the defense.
Gonzalez went back in and got the first down on the next play. Turner got another five yards on the very next first down. After a second down incompletion on a screen, Ryan made the worst throw that he has all year on a screen that was picked by Ryan Kerrigan for a touchdown.
On the first play after the interception, Ryan hit Julio Jones for an 11-yard catch. On the second play, Ryan hit Jones again for another five-yard gain. Turner got four yards on the second down play to give the Falcons a third-and-one at the 42.
On third down, Harry Douglas took an end-around for five yards and a fresh set of downs. The Falcons went with another end-around for a yard. On second down, Ryan handed it off to Turner for another eight yards. Jacquizz Rodgers took the third-and-short for a first down.
On first-and-10, Ryan tried hitting Julio Jones down the seam, but was innaccurate and the ball fell incomplete. On second down, Ryan hit Gonzalez again for a short gain that he turned into the first down. Ryan fumbled the snap on the very next play and it was given to the Redskins.
Right after the missed field goal, Ryan hit White over the middle of the field for a 20-yard gain to give the Falcons the ball at the 41-yard line heading into the two-minute warning. Right after the two minute warning, the Skins got called for a five-yard holding penalty.
On first down, Ryan hit Douglas on the sideline at the 39-yard line of the Redskins. Ryan hit Jones for another five yards and Jones made an excellent catch in mid-air and then dragged a defender for the first down.
Ryan went deep for Jones, but the Redskins safety knocked it away on a first-and-10. On second down, the Falcons went Iso-Jones for another eight-yard gain. On third-and two, from the 23-yard line, Ryan hit Gonzalez for another 22-yards to give the Falcons first-and-goal from the one-yard line. On the first down play, Tony Gonzalez got the touchdown pass from Ryan.
The Falcons started with a quick run by Turner and then followed it with a couple of short passes to Julio Jones. Then he hit Tony Gonzalez for yet another first down after a pair of passes. Turner had a pair of plays designed for him but one fell incomplete and the other was a five-yard run.
On the first third-and-five, Ryan hit Roddy White for a 12-yard gain. Ryan tried airing out a pass to Julio Jones but it was dropped. A short run by Jacquizz Rodgers led to yet another third down. On third-and-13 after a false start, Matt Ryan overthrew Harry Douglas to lead to a Falcons punt.
The second drive started with a short run by Michael Turner, and that was followed by a bad pass to Tony Gonzalez that fell incomplete. On third-and-eight, the ball went incomplete to Roddy White to force a three-and-out.
The third possession started with a nine-yard route to Tony Gonzalez to set up a short second down play. On second down, Turner got dropped for a two-yard loss to set up a third-and-three. On third-and-two from the 28-yard line, Ryan hit Gonzalez for his fourth catch of the game and a first down.
On the second set of downs, Ryan hit Tommy Gallarda for Gallarda's first reception of the season and to set up another short second down. After a quick throwaway, Ryan threw it to Julio Jones, but Jones was stopped before he could gain enough yardage for the first.down and they were forced to punt again.
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Outside of a coverage lapse late in the game for a 77-yard pass, the Falcons defense was excellent. They didn't allow a touchdown outside of that all game. They also got three sacks, two interceptions and allowed just one-of-nine third downs to be converted. They also allowed just three points on two redzone trips.
The first play of the quarter was a short one-yard run by Alfred Morris. Kirk Cousins threw a strike on second down, but Garcon dropped the ball to force a long third down. On third down, the Falcons allowed a deep pass to Santana Moss for a 77-yard touchdown
On the second drive of the quarter, Morris started it off with a six-yard run. On second down, Jonathan Babineaux got a sack for a six-yard loss. Cousins was forced to dump it off short on third down and the Redskins gained only eight yards to force a three-and-out and a punt.
Cousins started off with a pair of passes to gain 23 yards before the two minute warning. The Redskins have the ball at the Falcons 46-yard line with two minutes left in the game. Kirk Cousins threw a crucial interception to Dunta Robinson to give the Falcons the ball back.
On the final defensive drive of the game, Cousins threw the ball to Thomas DeCoud for the final play of the game on first down.
The Falcons allowed a big run by Alfred Morris on the first play of the half and then got burned on a short screen to Fred Davis. On the next two plays, the Falcons held Morris to a pair of losses and a bad block in the back penalty to force a second-and-20.
On second-and-20, the Falcons allowed a 19-yard catch by Fred Davis to force a third-and-one. On third-and-one, the Falcons stuffed Morris at the line and forced the punt. To start the Redskins second drive, the Falcons forced a fumble after a catch by Pierre Garcon that was knocked out by Dunta Robinson, but it was ruled as an incomplete pass.
On second-and-10 after the review of the incomplete catch, Fred Davis picked up a the first down on a falling catch. On Griffin's first run of the game, he play faked to the strong side and then gained another seven yards.
Morris had an excellent cut back run to get the Redskins to the Falcons 9-yard line for another first down. Garcon had a falling catch for five yards to set up second-and-goal from the four. Morris gained one yard to give the Redskins third-and-goal from the three.
On the third down play, Griffin got clobbered by Weatherspoon and Babineaux at the five-yard line. The first drive for Kirk Cousins was short and ineffective. The Falcons forced a quick three-and-out with a short run and a pair of incomplete passes.
On the first play of the quarter, the Falcons allowed an easy first down on a Griffin pass. Then Morris had a screaming run through the middle to bring him to 41 yards on just four carries. He had another two yards on his fifth carry of the game.
On second-and-eight, Asante Samuel jumped the route and almost intercepted the ball but instead knocked it away for a third-and-eight. On third down, the defense forced a fourth down by allowing just five yards.
On the first play after Ryan's fumble, the Skins hit a 20-yard pass and then followed it up with a run that brought the ball to the 18-yard line. On first down, the Falcons allowed a five-yard run to Morris and then followed it with a three-yard pass to Hankerson to set up third-and-two. On third-and-two, the Falcons held the Redskins to a fourth down and the field goal.
On the final drive of the quarter, the Falcons allowed a couple of good runs by Alfred Morris, but went into the half with the game tied at 7-7.
The first play of the game was a deflected pass by John Abraham. On second-and-10, Alfred Morris ran for an 11-yard gain to give the Redskins an easy first down. Then, he followed it up with a 16-yard run for another first.
On first-and-10 from the 47-yard line, Dunta Robinson and Jonathan Babineaux combined for a sack to force a long second down. Then a 10 yard pass set up a third-and-seven that Fred Davis dropped to force a punt.
On the Redskins second drive, the Falcons stopped a pair of runs for just three yards to set up a third-and-seven on the 24-yard line. The third down play was thrown low after great pressure by the defense and great coverage forced the incomplete pass. On the final play of the quarter, the Falcons held the Redskins to the line of scrimmage on a short pass.
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Matt Bryant was perfect on both field goals and extra points going four-for-four on his kicks. Matt Bosher continually kicked the ball deep and forced poor field position and the return game just made good decisions throughout the game.
Matt Bryant was automatic again on his second extra point of the game. Matt Bosher kicked the ball five yards into the end zone but the Redskins brought it to the 21-yard line on a 26-yard return. On another kickoff, Rodgers downed the ball in the endzone to start the offense at the 20-yard line.
Matt Bryant was automatic on the 53-yard attempt to tie the game up with just under nine minutes left in the game. On the following kickoff, Matt Bosher kicked it deep into the endzone and then ran down for the tackle around the 21-yard line.
Dominique Franks fielded a punt but got stuffed after a minimal gain at the Falcons 31-yard line. Matt Bryant was automatic on all of his kicks today with another easy extra point. On the kick return, Banks brought the ball out to the 31-yard line. Bosher smashed the ball through the end zone to give the Redskins the ball at the 20-yard line.
The Falcons head the Redskins on the first kickoff of the half to their own 22-yard line. The Falcons got pinned deep on their own two-yard line on the Sav Rocca punt. Matt Bosher punted the ball 45 yards but Banks returned it for 14 yards to give the Redskins the ball at the Falcons 39-yard line.
On Cundiff's second attempt, he hit just his second of his last six field goal attempts. Rodgers downed the following kickoff in the end zone to start at their own 20-yard line. Bosher punted it to the 11 and it was fair caught.
Dominique Franks took the third punt of the game at the 11-yard line and fair caught the ball. Jacquizz Rodgers took his second kick back to the 20-yard line and give the Falcons their best starting field position of the game.
The Falcons forced the field goal by Billy Cundiff, and he missed it again like he has all season. Matt Bryant was automatic for his extra point. Matt Bosher skied his first kickoff through the endzone to force a touchback.
Jacquizz Rdgers had an excellent 50-yard return to start the game off, but Robert James had a holding call against him and that put the Falcons on their own 8-yard line. On the Falcons first punt, Brandon Banks fielded the ball and brought it back to just the 20-yard line.
Dominique Franks fielded his first punt with a fair catch to give the Falcons the ball at the 15-yard line. On the second punt, the Falcons held the returner for just three yards to give the Redskins the ball at their own 21-yard line.
On the second punt return by Franks, he returned it for a short gain to give the Falcons the ball at the 20-yard line. On Bosher's third punt of the game, he skied it through the back of the endzone and the Redskins have the ball to start their next drive at their own 20-yard line.
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The Falcons were aggressive and attacking all game. They were only down due to a lack of offensive execution. However, the Falcons won the game because at the end, they finally executed and finished the game.
The fourth quarter made the game. Outside of one defensive lapse on a 77-yard touchdown pass, the Falcons played a perfect half on both sides of the ball.
The defense has been dominant all day, but the special teams and offense have been ineffective. Once the Falcons can get some better field position, expect them to get in position for the win.
The Falcons are tied, but it has nothing to do with the coaching. The offense has been well called and the defense has been aggressive and hasn't allowed a single point.
The defense has been aggressive and able to shut down the Redskins all game, but the offense wasn't able to get the ball into the endzone. The special teams looked well coached and the game is tied after a quarter, so it can't be all bad.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.