Last night was exhilarating and nail-biting in every way for Atlanta Falcons fans. Quarterback Matt Ryan to wide receiver Roddy White proved to be a winning combination for the Falcons again. Ryan has now won 14 straight games at home, where his record is 18-1.
The league's top passing duo managed a 33-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left to give the Falcons a 26-21 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
Although the Falcons won last night and hold the best record of 7-2 in the NFL, some things have been given the cold shoulder.
It could be argued that Atlanta has the best team in the NFC, even more so in the NFL, but let’s look at a flawed pattern the Falcons have established.
The Falcons have had trouble putting teams away after establishing big leads, and this one would be no different as they lost a 20-7 lead before pulling a Houdini in the fourth quarter, and improving to 7-2.
Baltimore's Joe Flacco tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap with 1:05 left to put the Ravens ahead 21-20.
The Ravens marched down the field twice in the fourth quarter to rally from a 20-7 deficit, while the Falcons offense sputtered.
Flacco matched Ryan with three touchdowns passes.
Regardless, things might be the best they have been in Atlanta for a while.
Last night’s game was the first regular battle of the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2008 NFL draft—but due to a huge lead and a win, Ryan had the edge.
He completed 32 of a career-high 50 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner on a heroic seven-play, 80-yard drive that took just 40 seconds.
White, who didn't practice this week because of a reported knee injury, caught 12 passes for 138 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Despite his success with said health problems, he also dropped passes on different drives, as the Falcons tried to run out the clock and then attempted to get into field goal range.
But White redeemed himself when he got free of Baltimore's Wilson on the way to the end zone for the winning score.
Yes, the Falcons have the best record right now; and yes, they are able to pull out last-minute wins.
Yes, their quarterback has been able to put big numbers on his stats list with career highs in different categories—and their game-saving wide receiver managed to do some impressive things with a reported knee injury.
So, despite their near loss last night, the Falcons have what it takes to not only be the best in the NFC, but to be the best in the NFL—as long as they keep their Houdini fourth-quarter act up.