Repeat after me: The Atlanta Falcons are 2-0. The Atlanta Falcons are undefeated through week two of the 2023 National Football League season.
Starting the season with consecutive home games is the gift from the National Football League scheduling gods that the Atlanta Falcons have taken full advantage of it. Following a 25-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Atlanta heads into an interesting matchup in Detroit unblemished.
“It means a lot for us to win at home,” said Falcons head coach Arthur Smith during the postgame press conference. “I thought our crowd was awesome the last few games.”
What if I told you they would be undefeated in the NFC South before they play their second division game in Tampa Bay October 22, that’d be acceptable wouldn’t it?
The Falcons drive that ended the first half and brought the team within a point of Green Bay displayed the offensive potential of this team. A pair of Desmond Ridder passes to tight end Jonnu Smith (4 recs. for 47 yards) and to receiver Drake London (team high 6 recs. for 67 yards), the latter for a touchdown, was mixed in with a big 4th and 1 run by rookie Bijan Robinson. Forget for a moment that the ensuing extra point was missed, that drive came in a clutch moment when the Falcons needed a score.
Ridder (19-32 for 237 yards, INT) showed several flashes of a leader when he led third quarter and fourth quarter drives downfield, scoring a touchdown run.
Despite throwing his first career interception, Ridder said he’s confident following the Falcons performance against Green Bay. “When you see the Atlanta Falcons out there we’re never down for the count,” he said.
Smith called Ridder “a winner” and said that the team believes in him during his postgame press conference.
Heroes and Villans
There are some issues that need to be addressed, but that will come with more practice and more games. Example, the Falcons secondary was victimized by Green Bay receivers all game.
The heroes of last week’s victory over Carolina were almost the goats this week. The Falcons secondary could not have played better last week against rookie quarterback Bryce Young and couldn’t have played worse against Packers first-year starter Jordan Love. Two huge pass interference calls lead to a pair of Green Bay scores. The latter being a third quarter pass interference call on cornerback Tre Flowers that got Green Bay and Love into scoring position with the Packers ahead 17-12 with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter. A 10-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Reed capped a 78-yard drive and put Green Bay up 24-12 with less than a minute in the third quarter.
Bijan can play
Falcons rookie Bijan Robinson (124 yards on 19 carries, 4 receptions for 48 yards) has quickly turned into Ridder’s favorite receiver. On a number plays during the past two games Robinson has been there to bail Ridder out with a catch in the backfield and down field. Robinson also had his first 100-yard rushing game Sunday.
On 4th and 1 with the game in the balance Robinson came up with yet another huge carry for first down. I’ve decided to start calling him “Big Game” Bijan Robinson going forward.
The Falcons will play their first road game of the season Sunday at the Detroit Lions.