Falcons complete fourth-quarter comeback to beat Packers, start season 2-0


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By Josh Kendall, Jeff Schultz and Matt Schneidman

The Atlanta Falcons scored 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to beat the Green Bay Packers 25-24 on Sunday and start 2-0 this season. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Younghoe Woo hit a go-ahead 25-yard field goal with 57 seconds to play.
  • Falcons rookie running back Bijan Robinson had an outstanding game, rushing for 124 yards on 19 carries and catching four passes for 48 yards.
  • Packers QB Jordan Love for the second week in a row threw three touchdown passes. He finished 14-of-25 for 151 yards passing.
  • Packers rookie receivers Dontayvion Wicks and Jayden Reed each notched their first career touchdowns, the latter posting two.


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The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Robinson key to victory

Robinson had his first 100-yard rushing game in the NFL in what became the Falcons’ first 2-0 start since 2017. The No. 8 pick out of the University of Texas added four catches for 48 yards to his 124 yards on the ground.

Robinson now has 180 rushing yards (on 29 carries) through the first two games of his career, although he’s still looking for his first rushing touchdown. He had an 11-yard receiving touchdown last week. — Kendall

London, Pitts get involved

It wasn’t always pretty, but wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts got some fantasy points Sunday. The pair combined for eight catches on 12 yards for 82 yards and a touchdown after Falcons head coach Arthur Smith made a concerted effort to get them more involved in the game plan than they were in Week 1.

Atlanta’s first play was a screen pass to London that went for five yards, and London and Pitts had nine targets, six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

It was a mixed day for the folks hoping Desmond Ridder will be Atlanta’s long-term answer at quarterback. The second-year player out of Cincinnati finished with respectable numbers (19-of-32 for 237 yards and a touchdown), but not much came easy in the passing game.



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For starters, Ridder threw his first career interception on the first possession of the game. He entered the game as the second quarterback since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger to not throw an interception in his first five career starts (Dak Prescott), and his 134 attempts without an interception to start his career were the fifth-most in NFL history. However, he would have thrown two more if not for drops by Packers defenders. Ridder, who had 40 rushing yards, found some rhythm late to help Atlanta make a late comeback. — Kendall

Falcons show confidence

The Falcons are 2-0 for the first time in five years, and it’s not because they’re getting brilliant quarterback play, or the offense is anything special, or certainly because officiating calls have all gone their way. But coach Arthur Smith has a team that actually believes it can win games, which hasn’t always been the case in Atlanta, and he made the mother of all ballsy calls late in the game by going for it on fourth-and-inches from the Packers’ 23 — and Robinson carried for seven yards and the first down. The play allowed the Falcons to bleed the clock before Koo kicked a 25-yard field goal in the final minute. — Shultz

Fourth quarter dooms Green Bay

The Packers blew a 12-point fourth-quarter lead on Sunday against the Falcons thanks to a leaky defense and an anemic offense that scored 24 points in the first three quarters before getting a case of the three-and-out blues when it mattered most. Green Bay didn’t earn a single first down on its final three drives of the game.

Arguably the Packers’ biggest weakness over the last five seasons reared its ugly head again on Sunday. In Week 1, the Packers held the Bears to 4.2 yards per carry after the Bears led the league with 5.4 yards per rush last season. In Week 2, a potent Falcons rushing offense had its way with Green Bay. On 45 carries, Atlanta averaged 4.7 yards per rush, led by dynamic first-round rookie Robinson. He tallied 124 yards on 19 rushes (6.5 yards per rush) and he’ll probably spend his game check on new ankles for a couple members of Green Bay’s defense.

Not only did left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), wide receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) and running back Aaron Jones (hamstring) miss the entirety of Sunday’s game with injuries, but left guard Elgton Jenkins left the game in the middle of the second quarter and didn’t return because of a knee injury. That left the Packers without arguably their four best offensive players for the majority of the game.

And a reminder that after taking a delay of game while lined up for a 51-yard field goal on the opening drive, Matt LaFleur and the Packers opted to punt instead of try a 56-yard field goal indoors with their strong-legged rookie kicker. They lost by one point. — Schneidman

Key play

Robinson picked up a fourth-down conversion to help set up Koo’s game winner:

Required Reading

(Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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