Falcons vs. Packers score, takeaways: Bijan Robinson leads Atlanta to furious fourth-quarter comeback victory
The Falcons are 2-0 for the first time in six years
Bijan Robinson has arrived in a big way. Robinson finished with 19 carries for 124 yards and four catches for 48 yards, making two crucial plays on a game-winning drive that led the Atlanta Falcons to a 25-24 comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Robinson finished with 172 yards from scrimmage in just his second career game, putting the Falcons on his back when they needed him most. The Falcons are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2017.
On the game-winning drive, Robinson had a 10-yard run on third-and-3 and a 7-yard run on fourth-and-1 at the Packers' 23-yard line to force Green Bay to use all of its timeouts in a 24-22 game. The Falcons went to Robinson in two crucial situations, and he converted on both occasions. Younghoe Koo converted a 25-yard field goal to put Atlanta up 25-24 with 57 seconds left, as the Falcons finished with 13 unanswered points to end the game.
The Packers had an opportunity to get the win with a late field goal, but Jordan Love was unable to complete a pass on the drive that sealed the Falcons' comeback. Green Bay had an illegal shift on fourth down, but a pass to Samori Toure that was initially ruled a catch was ruled incomplete after an official review. Love finished 14 of 25 for 151 yards and three touchdowns, but the Packers went three-and-out on all of their fourth-quarter possessions.
Robinson also had two crucial plays earlier in the game to get the Falcons points. He rushed for 13 yards on a fourth-and-1 late in the second quarter that set up a Desmond Ridder touchdown pass. He then had a 29-yard reception that led to a field goal to cut the Falcons' deficit to 24-22 midway through the fourth quarter.
Atlanta got back into a the game after a 45-yard reverse pass to Mack Hollins that set up a Ridder 6-yard touchdown run with 11:48 left to cut the deficit to 24-19. The Packers went three-and-out on consecutive possessions to keep the Falcons in the game.
Ridder threw for a touchdown and rushed for a score in the Falcons comeback. Takeaways from this thrilling comeback and a recap of the contest can be found in our live blog below
Why the Falcons won
Give Arthur Smith credit for using Robinson this week, trusting him to get the first down in crucial situations when his team needed him most. The biggest play call was Smith calling Robinson's number on fourth-and-1 from the Packers' 23-yard line with 2:08 left. With a 41-yard field goal and the lead really to be seized, Smith relied on Robinson to get the first down and extend the drive -- just like he did on several occasions in the second half. Robinson got the first down and forced the Packers to burn all their timeouts before Koo hit the winner with under a minute to play. Trusting Robinson got the Falcons to 2-0.
Why the Packers lost
Green Bay was in control of this game through three quarters, but the fourth quarter was a disaster. The Packers went three-and-out on all three possessions, running 10 plays for a total of 11 yards. Love threw four incomplete passes on the final possession, as Green Bay had an opportunity to drive down the field and get a field goal in the final minute to win the game. The Packers were down four offensive starters, but that wasn't an issue when they scored touchdowns on both possessions to start the second half. They just collapsed in the fourth quarter.
Both teams were creative in their play-calling for Week 2, but this reverse pass by the Falcons takes the cake. Ridder handed the ball off to Robinson, who handed it off to London (initially out wide but ran in toward Robinson), who flipped the ball back to Ridder. Everyone on the Packers defense was fooled as Ridder threw a bomb to Hollins -- who was wide open down the sideline.
Ridder didn't get enough loft on the ball as he threw a dart, but Hollins was still able to adjust and make an incredible catch on Darnell Savage for a 45-yard gain. Incredible concentration by Hollins to make that play work, which led to a Falcons touchdown to get Atlanta back in the game.
Play of the game
Robinson getting 7 yards on fourth-and-inches with 2:08 left at the Packers' 23-yard line was a gutsy call by Smith. Trailing 24-22, a 41-yard field goal was in hand for Koo -- one of the game's most accurate kickers. Smith took the risk and went with Robinson to get him the first down and control of the game.
Robinson got the Falcons 7 yards, part of a massive day for him on the ground. Behind that Falcons offensive line and how they run block, Robinson will be a rookie to watch all year.
"We work every day to try and get in those situations. We understood that was a big play to try and get us a win. I hope to gain the trust in this team, so it was awesome to see that and get a win for my team." -- Bijan Robinson to Fox after the win.
The Falcons (2-0) travel to face the Lions in their first road game of the season while the Packers (1-1) host the Saints in their home opener next week.
What a win for the Falcons, going for it on 4th-and-1 with a FG in hand to holding the Packers to 10 plays for 11 yards in the fourth quarter. Atlanta scored 13 unanswered to win, getting to 2-0. Green Bay falls to 1-1.
The Falcons won't risk a 4th-and-1 here. They'll go to Koo for the lead and leave it to their defense to hold the Packers from winning it with a FG of their own. It's 25-24 with 57 seconds left. GB has no timeouts.
The Falcons are going for it on 4th-and-1 on 4th down and Bijan Robinson gets the first down! The fourth huge play for Robinson in this game and the Falcons will force the Packers to burn timeouts now. They are in control of this one.
Bijan Robinson against a linebacker is a mismatch every time. First down Atlanta is they are in Koo's range to take the lead. It's Bijan Robinson's show now.
Did the Packers jump on 4th-and-1? Sure looked like they did. Packers tried to get the Falcons to bite, but no dice. 3-and-out and they'll punt. Falcons only down 2 at the 25.
Bijan Robinson is a player. Get him the ball in open space and let him do his thing. A 29-yard catch put the Falcons in packers territory and Atlanta had an opportunity to take the lead. They'll settle for a 39-yard FG by Koo to cut it to 24-22.
A.J. Terrell was THIS CLOSE to giving the Falcons the read. Jordan Love tested Terrell on 3rd-and-9, but the pass was right to the No. 1 CB to force the 3-and-out. If Terrell holds onto that ball, Falcons are winning. They'll get the ball back.
Desmond Ridder rushes in for the TD on 4th-and-4 from the 6-yard line. Boy did the Falcons need that one to get back in teh game, as Ridder beats three defenders to get the score. Set up by the 45-yard reverse pass to Mack Hollins, Falcons are back in it. They are down 24-19 with 11:48 left.
Oh I love that trickeration by the Falcons. Ridder to Robinson to London bto Ridder for Mack Hollins for a 45-yard gain. Everyone on the Packers defense was fooled. There's been a few fun plays today. That was one of them.
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