The Falcons played a sloppy game against the Giants on Sunday, one fraught with offensive inefficiency, questionable play-calling, and a defense doing its best to keep it from getting out of hand.
They pulled out the win courtesy of Younghoe Koo’s leg on a last-second field goal, but the defense (and the Giants’ similar ineptitude) is what kept them in this one. A big reason for the win? OLB Dante Fowler, who quite possibly saved the game with a clutch sack-fumble on quarterback Daniel Jones in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
A BIG STOP FROM THE DEFENSE!— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 26, 2021
: FOX | @dantefowler pic.twitter.com/tcdua5NXLy
Daniel Jones recovered the fumble, but it backed the Giants up enough to force a punt after a quick pass on the next play.
It was a pivotal moment in the game, and it’s the reason why Dante Fowler is the player of the week.
Weird, right? Didn’t think you’d be here? Neither did we.
Fowler was a massive disappointment in his first year in Atlanta, compounded by his three-year, $45 million contract that he inked prior to the 2020 NFL season. He tallied a paltry three sacks in his initial Atlanta campaign and agreed to a contract restructure in the offseason to incentivize production.
He produced against the Giants.
He first flashed with a tipped pass in the first quarter, that play leading to an eventual punt from the New York Giants. His fourth-quarter sack, however, was his marquee moment in a tied game with the clock ticking down.
If Dante Fowler doesn’t get to Daniel Jones in that situation, the Falcons could easily be looking at 0-3. Instead, they’ve notched one in the win column.
The offense is a massive work in progress, but three weeks into the season, OLB Dante Fowler seems to have found his rhythm in Dean Pees’ new defensive scheme.
Should that continue, the Falcons will at least have a playmaker to keep their heads above water until the offense figures it out.