The Atlanta Falcons moved to 0-2 on the season after Sunday’s last-second loss to the Dallas Cowboys. A quick start propelled by three forced fumbles from LB Foye Oluokun helped the Falcons get out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.
Atlanta led, 29-10, at halftime after Younghoe Koo‘s third field goal. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott would lead the team back, scrambling for a touchdown to make it a 29-24 Falcons lead with the third quarter winding down.
The Falcons looked to have answered the bell, with Matt Ryan throwing for his fourth touchdown pass late in the game. But an onside kick recovery by Dallas gave the team the ball with under two minutes, and the Cowboys finished off their comeback victory over Atlanta with a last-second field goal.
Let’s take a look at how the team’s offensive, defensive and special teams units played on Sunday.
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Ryan started slow on first two drives, but quickly responded and threw two touchdown passes following Falcons fumble recoveries. Atlanta’s QB threw three touchdowns in the first half — two to WR Calvin Ridley and one to TE Hayden Hurst — along with one to Russell Gage in the second half.
Todd Gurley rushed for 61 yards on 21 carries and wasn’t a big factor in this game. Some credit needs to go to Dirk Koetter for calling a great game on Sunday.
The Falcons made good, aggressive calls, they didn’t force the run and the offense executed when it mattered most (on offense). This looked like it was going to be the kind of performance the team could have built upon, but it wasn’t meant to be.
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Linebacker Foye Oluokun stole the show, forcing three fumbles in the first half, each recovered by Atlanta. Defensive end Takk McKinley was building off of a solid Week 1 performance before a groin injury temporarily took him out of the game.
LB Deion Jones showed out in the first half, teaming with DE Dante Fowler on a tone-setting sack-fumble. DE John Cominsky and DT Deadrin Senat recovered fumbles. Rookie CB A.J. Terrell played a much better game than last week, while Isaiah Oliver made a few nice plays in coverage.
Then the fourth quarter happened, and the defense essentially fell apart. Dallas scored a late field goal to win the game as time expired.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
A late blunder on special teams potentially cost the Falcons the game. The onside team failed to grab the ball to end the game and let the Cowboys player fall on the ball. It led to the Dallas’ late game-winning field goal.
Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo made all three field goal attempts in first quarter. He would later add a fourth, along with three extra points. It’s another solid performance from Koo, who was a perfect 7-for-7 on the day.
Rookie Sterling Hofrichter averaged just under 40 yards per punt on his four attempts, with one pinning Dallas inside the 20 yard line.
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