ATLANTA – Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons failed to muster any points as Mac Jones led the patriots to a 25-0 victory on Thursday night at Mercedes- Benz Stadium.
New England received the opening kickoff and got off to a slow start. Their only first down of the drive was a result of pass interference penalty against Falcons safety Erik Harris. The Pats drive fizzled out at midfield, forcing a punt, pinning Atlanta back at their own 4-yard line.
Ryan and the Falcons first possession ended just as quickly as it started, culminating in a quick three-and-out. Jones came back out on the field and was able to get the offense rolling connecting with Jonnu Smith for 17 yards for the first down.
This sparked a nine-play 52-yard drive that took the patriots deep into the red zone. However, the Atlanta defense was able to stand tall, holding New England to a 32-yard Nick Folk field goal. This made the score 3-0 Pats with 5:19 left in the first quarter.
Atlanta’s struggles continued on the ensuing possession as they could only tally 16 yards of total offense before punting again. Jones then went right back to work, leading a 7-play 76-yard scoring drive. This was capped off with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor to make it 10-0 with 13:51 left in the second quarter. The Falcons began to get things rolling, finally getting across the 50 yard line for the first time of the night.
Much to the dismay of the hometown faithful, things took a turn from bad to worse. After settling for a 45-yard Younghoe Koo field goal, a penalty for an illegal formation would wipe the points off the board. This pushed the Falcons five yards back, making Koo attempt a 50-yard field goal which sailed wide left.
After trading punts, the Pats could tack on a field goal before the end of the half. This sent the Falcons into the locker room with a 13-0 deficit.
In the second half, things didn’t get much better for Atlanta. Their opening possession ended with yet another punt. Midway through the 3rd, and A.J. Terrell interception looked to be the spark Atlanta needed.
This set up Atlanta at their own 48-yard line. Ryan led the Falcons to two quick first-down conversions as they settled into the red zone. However, the party didn’t last long as they failed to convert on 4th down.
Entering into the 4th quarter, New England would add to their lead with a 47-yard field goal by Folk. Atlanta’s last drive was more of the same with lifted spirits only to deflate those spirits with a Ryan interception.
New England would capitalize on this turnover as Folk put through a 53-yarder. At this point, it was 16-0 Patriots with 6:44 left on the clock.
A third interception in the night on the ensuing possession would put an end to Matt Ryan’s night. Jones would again lead New England into the red zone as they worked the clock down. After adding a 32-yard field goal, there were only 2 minutes left to play as the deficit grew to 19.
Josh Rosen entered the game as a quarter for Atlanta only to get picked by Kyle Van Noy to make it 25-0 with 1:33 left. Rosen would follow up this performance on the ensuing possession with yet another pick, putting the final nail in the coffin.
The Falcons head to Jacksonville on November 28th to face the Jaguars.
Written by Reid Wills