Atlanta snapped its two-game losing streak against Houston, a game where quarterback Desmond Ridder found his stride under center and the defense made the plays to keep the Falcons in the game.
Here’s your Hat tips & head-scratchers from the win over the Texans.
In a game where quarterback Desmond Ridder had to show to his team and to the Atlanta fanbase that he can lead the offense, he put together the best game of his young career. Ridder completed 28 of 37 passes for 329 yards (the first 300+ passing game in his career) and a touchdown. He added a rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Ridder has been rightly derided for his lack of pocket awareness and accuracy, but he had everything working against the Texans. He consistently fit downfield balls into tight windows, getting both tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London involved.
Most importantly, he made the throws under two minutes to move the Falcons into field goal range to win the game. What Ridder has shown so far has been shaky at best, but he delivered in a big way on Sunday. Hopefully, this is a glimpse of what this offense can do each and every game.
What in the world? This is one of those plays that you could file under ‘head-scratchers’ because it makes zero sense on how it was successful. With the Falcons deep in the red zone in the fourth quarter, quarterback Desmond Ridder flipped a shovel pass to running back Bijan Robinson, one that he somehow snagged with one hand behind his back. Robinson then scampered across the line of scrimmage for the touchdown to take the lead.
Robinson routinely makes plays that make you question physics, but none was more impactful than his receiving touchdown grab to give the Falcons life.
Tight end Jonnu Smith had a lousy day at the office. He’s been one of Desmond Ridder’s favorite reliable targets through four games, and when the Falcons needed him on a key third down Ridder hit him in the hands and he couldn’t hang on. That was just the start of Smith’s troubles against the Texans.
His third-quarter fumble threatened to derail the Falcons’ comeback attempt, a play where he was fighting for negligible yardage and allowed the Texans to pop the ball loose.
Smith has been a solid addition so far, but Sunday was a forgettable one.
Penalties nearly doomed the Falcons. They committed seven on Sunday against the Texans, a couple of them of the boneheaded variety — center Drew Dalman’s unnecessary roughness call stands out in particular. Atlanta has been a disciplined team through four weeks, but penalties could have been their unraveling against Houston.