Here it is: The penultimate Hat tips & head-scratchers of the 2022 season. It wasn’t a pretty win, but the Falcons clawed out a win against Arizona. Read on for the good and the bad from Sunday’s game.
Richie Grant blocks the punt
For two consecutive weeks, Falcons’ special teams have made critically important plays. Last week, Ade Ogundeji blocked a field goal attempt in Baltimore, and on Sunday, Richie Grant got his paws on a punt.
Flying through the line untouched, Grant leaped in front of punter Andy Lee for a clean block, handing the Falcons important field position prior to halftime.
Cordarrelle Patterson would punch the ball in shortly thereafter.
Richie Grant has had an up-and-down season, but he’s done exemplary work with special teams.
Patterson & Allgeier
What can’t you say about this pair? They’ve essentially been Atlanta’s offense for the bulk of the season, and they didn’t deviate from that against the Cardinals. They combined for 125 yards rushing on 29 attempts, both netting a touchdown. Have to also give credit to the offensive line here, because the run blocking was excellent, as it has been all season.
At this point, Tyler Allgeier looks every bit a three-down back, and figures to feature heavily in Atlanta’s offense next season and beyond.
Isaiah Oliver’s game
So what will the Falcons choose to do with corner Isaiah Oliver after the season? An unrestricted free agent in 2023, Oliver returned from last season’s injury a showed his worth to this defense when provided snaps. His game on Sunday was another example of that, leading the team in tackles and chipping in with a sack, as well.
Ridder fumbles the snap
Inauspicious starts pretty much comprise the Atlanta Falcons’ DNA at this point, and quarterback Desmond Ridder got his first taste of that with his fumbled snap in the second quarter. The error gifted the Cardinals exceptional field position, which they quickly turned into a touchdown to put the Falcons behind.
Snapping has been a lingering issue all season, and the Falcons have enough issues to be struggling with fundamentals. It should be an area of focus during the offseason.