Atlanta Falcons (6-10) – Arizona Cardinals (4-12) : 20-19
Desmond Ridder (19/26, 169 yards) continues to add experience to his progression. This time, he can check the victory drive box. After a field goal that put the Cardinals up 19-17, the Falcons won the ball with five minutes left. Mainly on the ground, but also thanks to a few passes from their quarterback, the Atlanta players then turned the clock, while advancing on the opposing field and using all the opposing time-outs.
Placed just 21 yards from the posts, it was finally Younghoe Koe who hit the winning field goal at the last second.
A success in line with those of this year for the Falcons, with a game mainly oriented towards the race, a Cordarrelle Patterson (9 carries, 42 yards 1 TD – 6 rec, 42 yards) to do everything and a pitcher who ensures the ‘essential.
Arizona too tender in the last yards
The Falcons’ victory makes sense, because their opponents have never really been able to build full offensive possession. It was thanks to a fumble from Ridder that the Cardinals recovered the ball just 8 yards from the end zone in the second quarter. Enough to allow David Blough (24/40, 222 yards, 1 TD= and Trey McBride (7 rec, 78 yards, 1 TD) to connect for their team’s only touchdown and put their team in front (7-10) .
But a few minutes later, it was Atlanta who took advantage of an opponent’s clumsiness, countering an Arizona punt to recover the ball with only 5 yards to go. Patterson then immediately sanctioned the error, with a touchdown (14-10). A just reward for the aggressive Falcons, who had scored from their first possession thanks to Tyler Allgeier (20 runs, 83 yards, 1 TD), before failing on a fourth attempt a little later.
Led 14-10, the Cardinals then failed to find the key to do better than field goals, again and again. Two successful to go back in front (14-16), one missed, then another to regain the advantage once again in response to another kick from Atlanta (17-19). This is where Arthur Smith and his men rolled out their last long possession to seek victory.
A little more efficiency, a little earlier, that was enough for the Falcons. In his penultimate match, JJ Watt made a sack!