We’re about at the midway point of the season, the Falcons are sitting at 4-4, and while there’s still a lot of football to be played, we’ve already seen some thrilling plays so far this season.
It’s actually hard to narrow it down to just one favorite play from the Falcons this season, but we’ll do our best. Weigh in with your favorite play in the comments.
Kyle Pitts’ ridiculous one-handed catch
I seriously weighed just leaving you with this video of highlights from Matt Ryan’s NFC Offensive Player of the Week-winning performance against the Saints last week as my response for this one. But for me, Kyle Pitts hauling in this catch one-handed on the sideline against the Dolphins flashed his potential and gave us a glimpse of what we’ll be able to look forward to from the rookie tight end for years to come.
The fact that Pitts is capable of pulling in a catch like this is a big part of the reason the Falcons made him the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history. Tight end is a difficult position for rookies to grow into at the pro level, and it’s exacerbated for Pitts because he’s too talented to be a traditional tight end, and the multiple ways he can be featured in this offense creates a bigger learning curve. But as he continues to develop and settle into his role in this offense, we should see more amazing plays like this from Pitts, and that’s going to be fun as hell. - Jeanna Kelley
Cordarrelle Patterson beats ghosts for the touchdown
This season was always going to be a little absurd. The Falcons had to scrimp and scrape to put a team on the field, and wins and big plays were going to require a little bit of luck in addition to a lot of effort.
Given how hard the Falcons have had to work to keep their offense rolling, given injuries and limitations, the wide open Cordarrelle Patterson touchdown against Washington was a bewildering delight.
This is the easiest play Patterson and Ryan are likely to be involved in this year. There’s not a defender within five yards of him, and he’s able to trot into the end zone for an easy score. It’s my favorite play of the year not because it was spectacularly important or jaw-dropping, but because it was so hilarious to watch. Ultimately, watching football should be fun and isn’t often enough, so give me a wild play like this any day of the week. -Dave Choate
Ryan to Patterson for the game-winning drive against the Saints
We all felt it. That sinking feeling after watching the Falcons blow a massive lead in the fourth quarter yet again. Fox even flashed the graphic to remind all Atlanta fans of the Super Bowl meltdown. Even worse: it happened in New Orleans. Against the freaking Saints. The crowd was insanely loud, celebrating what they thought was going to be a 25-24 come from behind victory over the FAILCONS.
Then it happened. Vintage Matt Ryan. One minute, one second on the clock. Pressure in his face. He gets the pass out a microsecond before he’s hit. That ball lands in the basket for Cordarelle Patterson, who makes it a 64 yard gain. The New Orleans crowd is stunned into silence and a minute later, they’re left dejected at watching their team lose 27-25. I don’t care what else happens this season, that win - and this play - has made 2021 a success to me. - David Walker
Kyle Pitts blowing up Xavien Howard
There has been nothing more enjoyable this season than watching Pitts develop and evolve into an absolute monster. You draft a talent like Pitts hoping he can be a mismatch that is too fast for any linebacker and too big for a safety. In your best case scenario, an opposing team must consistently double him or drop its top corner on a tight end.
The Dolphins tried both and failed at both. Most impressive is that Xavien Howard, coming off of an All Pro 2020, was matched up man to man on Pitts. It didn’t matter.
Ja'Marr Chase has been amazing but let's not overlook what Kyle Pitts did yesterday.— Adam Pfeifer (@APfeifer24) October 25, 2021
7-163-0 on Sunday, lined up out wide 14 times, including against All-Pro corner Xavien Howard.
Absolute superstar. pic.twitter.com/twBJf3dddP
Pitts both helped the Falcons gain the lead and then helped to ice out the game. He dealt with everything the Dolphins threw at him, with this play against Howard being the most impressive because of how Pitts acts like a true WR1. - Matt Chambers