The Falcons ended their home schedule with the Arizona Cardinals visiting Mercedes Benz Stadium. They came into the game hoping to break the 5-game losing streak and take advantage of a team having a hard season as well. The Falcons got their first dominating win of the season against the Cardinals, 40-14
The first two drives of the game for the offense went the way the last 5 games have gone with low production and 3 & outs. They came into the came into the game only completing 10 of 36 on 3rd downs during the losing streak. On the first drive, they went 1 of 2 on 3rd down. Matt Ryan was sacked once in each of the first two drives.
After the pick six, the offense turned around and began to show signs of the the Falcons efficient offense from the beginning of the season. The Falcons were averaging 31 points in the first eight games and could not score more than 20 in the last five games. They scored a season high of 40 points in this game.
Tevin Colman had a big game with his own season high of 145 rushing yards in 11 carriers and 1 touchdown. His longest run was a 65-yard run in the first quarter to set up the first Falcons lead of the game.
Matt Ryan also set another season high in this game with his 15-yard run for a first down which was his longest of the season. Ryan also ran a one yard quarterback sneak in for a touchdown
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Julio Jones caught his 100th reception of the season on a touchdown catch and run. He ended the day with 82 yards on 6 receptions and one touchdown. Jones has set himself up to be in a group of great receivers by being a step closer to completing his third season of reaching 1500 yards receiving yards.
The defense had the same short slow start that the offense did. The change in the game was started by the Quarterback of the defense, in his second game back, Deion Jones. Jones redeemed himself after his two dropped interceptions in last week’s game against the Packers. The interception was created when the ball was tipped by Vic Beasley, caught by Jones and ran back 41 yards for a touchdown. The pick six was apparently the spark the Falcons needed because both sides of the ball never looked back.
The Falcons defense got their first sack after the pick six and began to put pressure on the quarterback for the rest of the game. The defense forced three turnovers and were able to sack the quarterback seven times, which is also a season high for the Falcons.
Grady Jarrett got a fumble recovery in the first quarter which led to the Falcons second touchdown of the game. Brian Poole got a drive ending sack and a interception towards the end of the first half.
The Falcons gave their home crowd a great game to end the 2018 season at home. Though the game was meaningless, against a struggling team, & only the fifth win in December, it was a testament to the impact of Deion Jones on the defense. The Falcons improve to 5-9 and will face a divisional rival whose dealing with many a late season losing steak in the Carolina Panthers.
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