With both Atlanta and Washington sitting at 1-2 and at the bottom of their divisions, this week 4 matchup has a lot of weight to it. Win and you’re still in the thick of things. Lose and you’re in an early pit that will be very difficult to get out of. Did the Falcons do enough to avoid the dreaded 1-3 start? Here’s how it played out.
After Washington wins the toss and defers, the Falcons offense starts on their 25 with a run by Cordarrelle Patterson for 6. A short pass to Patterson gains 3 and Keith Smith converts the first. Mike Davis runs for 2 and Matt Ryan hits Calvin Ridley for 13. Davis bursts for 8 and 2 and the first. Kyle Pitts takes the pass for 15 and another first. Feleipe Franks runs for 3 and holding on Jalen Mayfield sets up 2nd and 17. Ryan squeezes one to Tajae Sharpe to setup 3rd and 10. Ryan hits Pitts for 10 to get the first and setup 1st and goal. Davis runs for 3, Ryan throws it away and on 3rd and goal Ryan can’t find Pitts. Koo nails the easy field goal.
Falcons 3, Football Team 0
Washington starts from their 33 with a run by Antonio Gibson for 7. After a deflected pass to Terry McLaurin, Taylor Heinicke hits Curtis Samuel for 3 and the first. Gibson runs for 4, the screen to Gibson loses a yard and the ball is long on 3rd down. Washington punts.
From their 14, the Atlanta offense starts with a run by Patterson for 4 and a catch for 11 and the first. Calvin Ridley drops a pass on 1st down, Davis loses 3 yards on 2nd down and on 3rd and 13 Ryan is unable to connect with Ridley. Falcons punt.
Washington starts on their 29 with a run by Gibson for 6 and a pass to Samuel for the short yards and the first. Quick pass to McLaurin gains 9, Gibson runs for 5 and the first as we finish the quarter.
Falcons 3, Football Team 0
From the Falcons 45, Heinicke is hit hard for no gain by Foye Oluokun as he scrambles. J.D. McKissic runs for 3 on 2nd down and on 3rd and 7 Heinicke scrambles but slides a yard short of the sticks. Washington goes for it on 4th and 1 and Grady Jarrett stuffs it. Turnover on downs.
With great field position, the Atlanta offense starts with a pass to Hayden Hurst that gains 5. Wayne Gallman runs for 8 and the first. After a false start by Mayfield, Ryan hits Hurst for 12. Ryan then goes deep to Cordarrelle Patterson for 42 yards and the wide open touchdown.
Falcons 10, Football Team 0
After a short return, WFT starts from their 23 with a short pass to Ricky Seals-Jones for 4. Heinicke connects with Diyami Brown for 15 and the first. Screen to Samuel loses 1 and McLaurin picks up 21 and the first. Gibson runs for 2, Seals-Jones drops a pass and on 3rd and 8 Heinicke hits McLaurin deep left for 33 yards and the touchdown.
Falcons 10, Football Team 7
After Patterson returns it to the 24 and a false start, Pitts can’t pull in the pass over the middle. The quick pass to Sharpe gains 8 and on 3rd and 7 Ryan is sacked. Falcons punt.
From their 37, Washington starts with a run by Heinicke for 8. Gibson runs for 6 and the first. A defensive penalty and Gibson run moves the sticks. Dante Fowler blows up the run for a 2 yard loss but Oluokun whiffs on a tackle and Seals-Jones picks up 16. Heinicke runs for a big 16 yard gain to setup 1st and goal. Gibson runs it in for the TD and the lead. They miss the extra point.
Falcons 10, Football Team 13
Starting on their 25, Patterson runs for 2 and Ryan can’t connect with Ridley. On 3rd and 8, the deep shot to Ridley draws pass interference and a big 33 yard gain. Patterson runs for 4, Zaccheaus drops an absolute dime and on 3rd and 5 Ryan hits Ridley to move the sticks. Davis loses 3 yards on the first down run, Pitts can’t hang on to the 2nd down pass and on 3rd and 13 Ryan hits Ridley for the first. Ryan hits Pitts for 6 but it’s overturned. Ryan hits Ridley again for 8 and on 3rd and 2 Ryan connects with Patterson for their 2nd touchdown of the day.
Falcons 17, Football Team 13
The 2nd half starts with a kick return to DeAndre Carter returning it for a touchdown. Extra point goes doink.
Falcons 17, Football Team 19
After Patterson returns it to the 32, Davis runs for 1 and Ryan hits Zaccheaus for 14 and the first. Ryan targets Ridley deep right again and they get another pass interference call for a big yardage gain. Davis runs for 2, Hurst goes for 5 and on 3rd and 3 Ryan quickly hits Hurst for the first down. Davis is blown up in the backfield for a 3 yard loss, Pitts can’t hang on to the 2nd down pass. On 3rd and 13, Ryan finds Patterson yet again for their 3rd touchdown of the game. Atlanta goes for 2 and can’t convert.
Falcons 23, Football Team 19
Heinicke hits McLaurin for 20 and the first at the 45. Screen to Gibson gains 11, Erik Harris breaks up and nearly picks off the deep ball and Gibson runs for 5 to setup 3rd and 5. Heinicke can’t connect with Seals-Jones. Washington goes for it on 4th and 5 and Samuel converts. Gibson runs for 6 and 7 to move the sticks. Heinicke throws high, McKissic runs for the first and sets up 1st and goal. He runs for a short gain two times and on 3rd and goal Heinicke is nearly picked off by Duron Harmon. Washington takes the short field goal.
Falcons 23, Football Team 22
Patterson’s return goes to the 17 and the Atlanta offense starts with Ridley dropping the deep pass from Ryan. Gallman runs for 3 and on 3rd and 7 Ryan connects with Pitts for 14 and the first. Davis runs for 3, Pitts takes the catch for 5 and Ryan hits Ridley for the first. Ryan hits Ridley for 8 on 2nd down and Ridley can’t pull it in on the deep shot. Falcons go for it on 4th and 2 and Ryan is pressured into an arm punt interception, but it comes back for a roughing the passer penalty. Patterson runs for 15 and 5 and Davis runs for 2 and the end of the quarter.
Falcons 23, Football Team 22
On 3rd and 3, Ryan checks down to Mike Davis who breaks 1000 tackles to run it in for the touchdown.
Falcons 30, Football Team 22
From their 25, the pass to McKissic gains 2 and Gibson runs for 5. On 3rd and 3 Fabian Moreau blows up the quick pass for a 2 yard loss and they force the punt.
From their 30, after a run for no gain by Davis, Wayne Gallman runs it for 13 and the first. He runs again for 1 and then 2 and on 3rd and 7 Ryan targets Ridley who draws yet another pass interference penalty but the refs inexplicably pick it up. Younghoe Koo comes on to punt for 25 yards.
With 1st and 15 on their 25, Gibson runs for 1 but illegal contact on AJ Terrell gives them 5 yards and the first. Patterson catches for 11 and the first and runs for 3. Heinicke runs for 10 and another first. After a penalty and Fowler getting the tackle for loss, on 2nd and 16 McLaurin picks up 16 and moves the sticks. A near pick by Harris and a run for 1 by McKissic sets up 3rd and 9 and Washington converts again on the pass to McKissic. Dante Fowler almost gets a sack, Heinicke throws it up in the middle of the field and they get the touchdown. I. Just. Can’t. Washington goes for the 2 points and after a false start they can’t convert but Atlanta gets called for offsides and gives them another chance. On that try, Washington still can’t convert.
Falcons 30, Football Team 28
Starting from their 25 with under 4 minutes left, the run by Davis on 1st down loses 3 and again to pick up 4. On 3rd and 9, the pass to Davis gains just a few to setup fourth down. Koo comes on to punt again and he boots it and gets a nice bounce.
From their 24, Heinicke is short to McLaurin on 1st. He then hits DeAndre Carter for 24 and the first. McLaurin can’t catch the first down pass but Adam Humphries catches his to move the sticks again. After 2 plays gain 3, on 3rd and 7 Heinicke hits McKissic who gets the touchdown.
Falcons 30, Football Team 34
With 33 seconds and the ball on the 25, Ryan hits Ridley deep for over 20. The 1st down pass is batted away and Ryan runs for a big gain on 2nd down. With 1 second left, the hail mary doesn’t work and Atlanta loses this one.
Final: Falcons 30, Football Team 24