The Falcons face a tough challenge this week. Traveling west is hard enough. Missing starters like Ricardo Allen, James Carpenter and especially Julio Jones only adds to the difficulty. Did they overcome all of this to net their 5th win of the season? Let’s find out.
After the Chargers won the toss and deferred, the Falcons offense starts from their 25 with a run by Todd Gurley for 3. The pass to Russell Gage gains 4 and on 3rd and 3 Ryan throws down the left into double coverage and it drops incomplete. Atlanta punts.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense starts from their 17 with a screen to Austin Ekeler for a gain of 9. Ekeler runs for 7 and the first, Kalen Ballage runs for 3 and Herbert passes to Keenan Allen for 6. On 3rd and 1, Ballage runs for the easy 1st. After a false start, Ekeler runs for 13 on consecutive runs. Bollage runs it, Deion Jones punches it out but the Chargers recover. Hunter Henry takes the reception for 6 and on 3rd and 5, Tyron Johnson catches the ball for 5 and the first. Ekeler runs for 3, Justin Jackson runs for 2 and on 3rd and 5 Herbert completes the pass to Allen who picks up 7 and the first. Ekeler runs for no gain and on 2nd down Herbert hits Allen for the touchdown.
Falcons 0, Chargers 7
Atlanta starts their 2nd drive with a pass to Gurley for 8. Gurley runs and a defensive penalty gifts 5 yards and the first. Ryan passes to Gurley for 5 and Todd then runs for 7 and the first. He runs for 4 and Ryan connects with Calvin Ridley for 6 and another first. Russell Gage comes on at QB and passes to Calvin Ridley for the touchdown.
Falcons 7, Chargers 7
From their 19, the Chargers get 16 from the pass to Ekeler as the quarter comes to a close.
Falcons 7, Chargers 7
Ekeler runs for a 3 yard loss, Herbert can’t connect with Allen and on 3rd and 13, Isaiah Oliver brings Johnson down well short and the Chargers punt.
Starting from their 32, Matt Ryan passes to Gage who makes several nice moves to gain 35. Ryan can’t connect with Ridley for the touchdown, connects with Hayden Hurst for 7 and on 3rd and 3 he hits Jaeden Graham for 7 and the first. Ryan misses Hurst on 1st, Ito Smith runs for 1 and on 3rd and 9 Ryan is sacked. Koo comes on and nails the 45 yard field goal.
Falcons 10, Chargers 7
A big return for the Chargers sets their offense up at the Falcons 23. The offense comes on and the pass to Ekeler gains 4. Ekeler runs for 1 and on 3rd and 5 Herbert can’t connect with Henry. Michael Badgley comes on and punches in the field goal to tie the game.
Falcons 10, Chargers 10
Atlanta starts with a big reception by Ridley for 33 yards. Keith Smith can’t pull in the pass, Ito Smith runs for 3 and on 3rd and 7, Ryan connects with Ridley again for another big gain of 18 and the first. Ito runs for 8, Gurley runs for 1 and Keith Smith runs for 2 and the first. Ryan then finds Laquon Treadwell for the touchdown.
Falcons 17, Charger 10
Justin Jackson runs for 5, Henry picks up 4 on the pass and on 3rd and 1, Gabe Nabers runs for 2 and the first. Herbert can’t connect with Jalen Guyton deep right, the screen to Ekeler gains 5 and Allen picks up 7 and the first. Jackson takes the reception for 9 then runs it for 2 and the first. Herbert can’t connect with Henry deep, Allen takes the catch for 8 and on 3rd and 2 Allen picks up 5 and the first. A.J. Terrell makes a great play to stop Jackson for 1 yard but Ekeler runs for 12 and the first. Henry picks up 5 on the pass, Ekeler’s reception gains 4 and Ballage runs but can’t pick up the first. The Chargers can’t get their field goal unit out in time, get penalized and the 10 second run-off kills the first half. Wow.
Falcons 17, Chargers 10
The Chargers start the second half from their 24 with a run by Ekeler that loses 2 yards. Herbert is pressured and can’t find Johnson deep and on 3rd and 12, Herbert is pressured again by Dante Fowler and A.J. Terrell knocks the ball away to force the 3 and out.
After the return and penalty, the Falcons offense starts from their 22 with a pass to Keith Smith that loses 2 yards. Ryan is then sacked and on 3rd and 17, Ryan finds Gage for 22 and the first. Gurley runs for 1, Ryan hits Gage for 4 and on 3rd and 5 Ryan targets Powell but defensive holding gives Atlanta the first. Ridley takes the slant for 7, Brian Hill takes the pitch for 3 and the first. Ryan goes deep but is picked off in the end zone. Chargers ball.
Ekeler takes the pass for 11 and the first. Ekeler runs for 1, grabs the reception for 6 and on 3rd and 3, Allen gets 7 and the first. Ballage gets 6 on the pass and Henry takes his pass for the first. Ballage runs for 5, Ekeler picks up 14 and the first. Ballage for 2 on the ground and the screen to Ekeler picks up 13 to setup 1st and goal. Darqueze Dennard tackles Allen for a loss on the WR screen, AJ Terrell tackles Ekeler for a loss and on 3rd and goal, Herbert finds Johnson for the touchdown.
Falcons 17, Chargers 17
Ito Smith runs for 5 to start the drive and then 6 to pick up the first and the end of the quarter.
Falcons 17, Chargers 17
Ito runs for 4, Ridley can’t pull in the pass on 2nd and 6 and on 3rd down, Brian Hill catches the pass for the first. Ito runs for 6, then for 3 and on 3rd and 1, Ryan has to throw it away and is called for intentional grounding. Atlanta punts.
Ekeler picks up 2 and Allen takes the catch for 7. On 3rd and 1, the Falcons are flagged for holding. Foye blows an a lineman and stops Ekeler for no gain and Deion Jones limits Jackson to just 1. On 3rd and 9 Foye Oluokun gets the sack on Herbert after the coverage locks things down. Chargers punt.
From their 41, the Atlanta offense starts with a pass to Gage that he can’t keep in bounds. The screen to Powell picks up 8 and on 3rd and 2, Matt Ryan runs for the first. Ito Smith loses a yard on the run, Ridley gains nothing on the pass and on 3rd and 11 Ryan hits Ridley for the 14 yard gain and the first. Ito runs for 7, he gains nothing on the toss and on 3rd and 3 Ryan hits Ridley again for 7 and the first. Ito takes the pass for 3, Ryan throws it out of bounds on 2nd down but the Falcons are hit with holding on Justin McCray to setup 2nd and 17. Matt Ryan targets Hurst but is picked off again. Chargers ball.
The screen to Henry gains nothing and Johnson takes the reception for 10 and the first. K.J. Hill takes the pass for 4, Ekeler runs for 7 and the first and we hit the 2 minute warning. Ekeler runs for 9 and then for no gain. On 3rd and 1, Blidi Wreh-Wilson picks off Justin Herbert. Falcons ball.
Gurley can’t pull in the pass and Ryan finds Gage over the middle for 18 and the first. Ryan is then picked off yet again. UGH.
Herbert can’t hit Ballage on first down, hits Guyton on 2nd down for 8 and then hits Henry for 10 and the first. Herbert then finds Johnson for a big gain, putting them in field goal range. Ballage gains nothing and with 2 seconds left, Badgley punches in the field goal for the win.
Final: Falcons 17, Chargers 20