The Falcons rode running back Cordarrelle Patterson to their first win, one where Marcus Mariota continued to experience issues under center and red zone penalties threatened to derail the Falcons yet again.
Here’s Hat tips & head-scratchers from the Falcons’ road win over the Seahawks.
A.J. Terrell breaks up the pass
Of the performances thus far in the 2022 season, none has been more alarming than A.J. Terrell’s. He has cobbled together poor-to-fair efforts through the first two games, which is why his PBU against D.K. Metcalf in the first quarter was a welcome sight.
Terrell blanketed Metcalf on the end zone route, snapping his head around in time to swat the ball away. The play prevented a likely touchdown and held the Seahawks to a field goal on their opening drive.
CP puts the team on his back
Talk about a performance. On an afternoon where Marcus Mariota experienced some miscues, the Falcons leaned on running back Cordarrelle Patterson — a role he was eager to oblige.
Patterson tallied a career-high 141 yards rushing on 17 carries and a touchdown, a performance that included multiple long runs and a leap over the Seattle defense.
Until this offense gets its passing game sorted, it’s a no-brainer that they’ll look to CP to keep the chains moving. If Sunday’s performance against the Seahawks was any indication, he appears more than capable of shouldering the offensive burden.
Koo bangs through the 54-yarder
Younghoe Koo is about as automatic as they come, which is why his miss last week against the Rams was disconcerting. Ever ready to right the narrative, Koo did what he did best in the third quarter, knocking through a season-long 54-yarder to salvage points from a drive where Mariota coughed the ball up after a sack.
They were much, much-needed points when the Falcons could ill afford to surrender a drive without them. Younghoe Koo is one of the top kickers in the NFL — he showed why with his 54-yard boot.
Grady & Richie seal the deal
Classic Grady Jarrett. With the Seahawks threatening inside the Atlanta 25-yard-line, Jarrett made the play of the day — busting through the Seattle offensive line and promptly seating quarterback Geno Smith for a 10-yard loss.
On the ensuing 4th-&-18 play, cornerback Richie Grant snared his first career interception, sealing the road win for the good guys.
Penalties, penalties, penalties
As sure as the sun rises, the Falcons will have penalty issues — especially in the red zone. Nowhere was it on its ugly display more than Atlanta’s second possession, where they somehow committed three consecutive penalties. The drive was salvaged courtesy of Younghoe Koo’s leg, but penalties in scoring situations have plagued this team for eons.
Marcus Mariota had a serviceable enough line on the day — 13/20 for 229 yards passing and a touchdown in the air and on the ground. But Mariota also missed Kyle Pitts downfield twice when he had beat his defender, and he added another fumble and interception to boot.
He’s clearly still the starting quarterback of this football team, but it’s worth wondering if Arthur Smith & Co. decide to give Desmond Ridder his first NFL snaps soon.