The Falcons got off to a reasonably strong start against the Raiders, with a balanced offense and decent defense. That disintegrated as the game went on, but the Falcons came alive in a big way in the fourth quarter and won 35-28.
Atlanta opened the game in the no huddle and had success on the ground and through the air, which helped them establish a 13-7 lead heading into the half. They then seesawed with the lead the rest of the day before taking it back for good in the fourth quarter, en route to a 35-21 lead. The Raiders then pushed back to 35-28, but that was as close as they’d get.
Some good things happened. Vic Beasley actually got a sack, and although we all had a few moments of panic when Desmond Trufant appeared to suffer a non-contact knee injury, he returned to the game. Jacob Tamme and Austin Hooper both helped out substantially as receivers, and the running game actually existed. The Falcons also got orders of magnitude more aggressive in the fourth quarter, and (surprise!) they got the lead because of it.
We also saw the team do things like have 12 men on the field at the least opportune time, and Matt Ryan threw yet another interception in the end zone, and missed tackles led to some explosive plays. It wasn’t a perfect performance by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a win, and Atlanta’s now in a much better spot for their upcoming tough stretch.
- Matt Ryan’s crazy third quarter drive, where he hooked up on a handful of quick passes and wound up with a 14 yard touchdown to Jacob Tamme. That drive put the Falcons back into the lead, finally.
- The collapse of the run defense in the beginning of the fourth quarter, which allowed Latavius Murray to get down to the goal line. The Falcons stopped the Raiders on three straight downs from the two yard line, but ultimately Derek Carr hit Michael Crabtree for a touchdown. That, of course, led to a tie game.
- The most batcrap play of the game goes to Justin Hardy, who came down with a tipped touchdown pass in the end zone that put the Falcons up. That play is a pick like 75% for the snakebitten Falcons, so that was beautiful.
- The critical fourth down stop in the fourth quarter by the defense followed by a successful drive that ended in a Tevin Coleman touchdown was #nice.
- Mohamed Sanu’s third down reception sealed the game, as it led to a first down.
- All those penalties that sure made this game more stressful than it needed to be! Ha ha ha, ha ha ha.