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Falcons 14, Chiefs 17: Atlanta competes more than anyone expected them to

The defense showed up in a way no one could have predicted.

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A team considered to be a Super Bowl favorite with one of the best quarterbacks in the league. A team looking at the potential of a top-5 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Chiefs. Falcons. We know how this one should play out, but did it go off script? Let’s see how it went down.

First quarter

The Chiefs win the toss, the Atlanta offense takes the field on their 25 and Matt Ryan starts big with a pass to Todd Gurley that gains 25. A run for 2 by Ito Smith and a WR screen to Russell Gage loses 1 sets up 3rd and 9. Falcons can’t convert as the Chiefs bring the heat. Atlanta punts.

The Chiefs offense starts with a run by Le’Veon Bell for 10 and the first. Tyreek Hill takes the pitch for 14 and another first. Grady Jarrett blows up the run by Bell for a loss of 3 then jumps offsides and Patrick Mahomes passes to Hill to setup 3rd and 2. Travis Kelce easily gets the first on the TE screen. Mahomes throws incomplete, can’t connect with Bell down the left sideline and on 3rd and 10 the Falcons get a miraculous stop with Jarrett providing pressure and Sheffield knocking the ball away on the pass. Kansas City punts.

Ito Smith starts the next drive with a pitch that goes for 8 and another that gains 13. Ito runs for 4 more and 3 on back to back runs. On 3rd and 3, Ryan connects with Gage for 3 and the narrow first. An illegal shift penalty loses 5 for Atlanta, Ryan hits Hayden Hurst over the middle for 15 and the first. Ito runs for 4 and an end around to Calvin Ridley loses 7. On 3rd and 18 after a false start, Ryan is sacked. Atlanta punts.

Mahomes hits Hill for a 31 yard gain after numerous missed tackles. Deion Jones stops the next play for no gain, Bell runs for 3 and on 3rd down Mahomes can’t connect with Kelce and they’re forced to punt. They down the ball at the Atlanta 4.

A run by Gurley that gains 5 takes us to the end of a scoreless quarter.

Falcons 0, Chiefs 0

Second quarter

Ryan’s pass to Keith Smith gains 6 and the first. Brian Hill runs for no gain, Ryan can’t connect with Ridley deep left and on 3rd and 10 Ryan is sacked again. Atlanta punts.

Mahomes pass to Darrel Williams gains 5, he throws incomplete to Mecole Hardman and Grady Jarrett tackles Hardman a yard short of the sticks on 3rd down. On 4th and 1, Darrel Williams runs up the middle for 11. A false start and a missed pass to Kelce sets up 2nd and 15. The RB screen to Williams gains 13 and on 3rd and 2 Williams is stopped short by Jarrett. Chiefs go for it again on 4th and 1 Keanu Neal picks off Sammy Watkins. Atlanta ball.

Todd Gurley runs for 6, Keith Smith takes the pass for 7 and the first. Ryan passes to Ito, who gains 5 and fumbles it out of bounds. Brian Hill runs for 3 and Ryan fumble-passes to Gurley for the first. Hill runs for 4, and Ryan finally connects with Calvin Ridley for a 54 yard gain. Hill runs for 3 and the Falcons score first on the TD shovel pass from Ryan to Hurst.

Falcons 7, Chiefs 0

Mahomes to Bell gains 8 and the quick pass to Watkins gains 7 and the first. Watkins gains 5 more on the first down pass. Mahomes hits Kelce for 11, scrambles for 11 more and misses Hardman. Mahomes scrambles for 9 and passes to Kelce for 2 and another first. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner forces a throwaway, Williams takes the pass for 9 and the subsequent run gains 6 and sets up 1st and goal from the 4. Mahomes fires a bullet to Kelce for the touchdown.

Atlanta kneels us into halftime.

Falcons 7, Chiefs 7

Third quarter

The Chiefs offense starts the second half with a run by Bell for 3 and a defensive neutral zone infraction by Foye Oluokun for 5 more yards. Bell runs for 6 and the easy first, and after an incomplete pass, Hardman takes the catch for 10 and another first. Deon Yelder gains 11 and another first. Hardman takes a jet sweep for a big 20 yard gain. Bell runs for 10 and another first. Mahomes overthrows Kelce and Atlanta blows up the screen. On 3rd and 10, Mahomes is picked off by Foye Oluokun, who returns it back into Chiefs territory.

Matt Ryan starts the drive with two straight sacks. On 3rd and 22, Ryan connects with Hurst for a short gain. Atlanta punts.

Mahomes hits Hill for 11 and the first. Mahomes can’t connect with Williams, Jarrett pressures Mahomes into a throwaway and on 3rd and 10 he can’t find an open receiver and throws it into the ground. Chiefs punt.

Ito runs for 5 and again for 4 to setup 3rd and short. Gurley comes on and runs for 3 and the first. Ito gains 3 on the ground and a snap infraction sets up 2nd and 12. Ito then runs for just 1 and on 3rd and 11 Ryan throws towards Hurst, but defensive pass interference gives Atlanta the first. Hurst gains 3 on the short pass and Matt Hennessy is called for holding to setup 2nd and 17. After Ryan is nearly sacked on 2nd down, he checks down to Gurley on 3rd and Atlanta has to punt.

A run by Williams gains 4, John Cominsky disrupts the next pass and on 3rd and 11 after a false start penalty, Mahomes has 30 seconds and finds Kelce for the first down. Bell runs for 3 as we head to the final quarter.

Falcons 7, Chiefs 7

Fourth quarter

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner nearly picks off Mahomes on 2nd down and they snuff out the screen on 3rd to force the field goal attempt. Harrison Butker nails the 53 yarder to take the lead.

Falcons 7, Chiefs 10

Matt Ryan starts the drive with a pass to Calvin Ridley for a gain of 15. Ryan then hits Hurst for another 19 and the first. Hill runs for 2, Laquon Treadwell gains 6 on the pass and on 3rd and 2 Ryan hits Stocker for the first. Hill gains 6 on the pass and on 2nd and 4 Ryan completes the pass to Brandon Powell, who fumbles it. KC recovers.

Williams runs for 11 and the first and Robinson gains 6. On 3rd and 4, Mahomes pitches to Williams who can’t pick up anything. Chiefs punt.

After holding on Hennessy sets up 1st and 20, Matt Ryan hits Calvin Ridley for a big 27 yard gain and the first. Brian Hill then runs for 15 and the first. Hill runs again for 4, catches a pass for 1 and Ryan hits Gage for the first. Ryan hits Hill for another 17 and a first to setup 1st and goal. Ryan closes out the drive with a TD pass to Treadwell to put the Falcons ahead.

Falcons 14, Chiefs 10

Mahomes starts with a throwaway and the 2nd down pass to Hardman is dropped. On 3rd and 10, Mahomes hits Kelce for a massive gain but a block in the back cuts the yardage gain to 29. Williams runs for 3, and Kelce takes another catch for a first. Hardman gains 9 on the pass and Williams runs for the first. A.J. Terrell nearly picks off Mahomes but can’t finish the catch. Mahomes then hits Demarcus Robinson for the go ahead touchdown.

Falcons 14, Chiefs 17

With just under 2 minutes left, the Falcons start their drive with an incomplete pass but holding on the Chiefs gives 5 and the first. Ryan then hits Gage who leaps over a defender to get the first. Ryan then hits Ridley for a big 18 yard gain and another first. Ryan hits Ridley for 9, throws it away and on 3rd and 1 Gurley runs up the middle to convert. After a defensive penalty sets up 1st and 5, with 27 seconds left Ryan throws incomplete. Matt Ryan is nailed from the blindside by Frank Clark but Ryan is able to throw the ball. Ryan targets Ridley who knocks it away from being intercepted. Younghoe Koo comes on and misses the game tying field goal.

Final: Falcons 14, Chiefs 17