Atlanta Falcons: Ricardo Allen the unlikely hero for Falcons


When Sam Bradford let the ball loose looking for his reliable target of Jordan Matthews, he had no idea that he was about to give birth to a star when it was caught.

As the ball rose to the air off the deflection of Matthew’s hands, everyone watching gasped as a young Falcon swooped in underneath the ball falling to the turf. It was in that moment that the NFL and the world took notice of the man once overlooked by many, but now he was the superstar.

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Coming out of Daytona Beach, Ricardo Allen did not light the world on fire with his highlights from the football field, and many colleges passed on the opportunity as he collected only a few offers from the big named schools in his recruitment.

But he knew that going to Purdue would give him the opportunity to showcase his talents. And in his time for the Boilermakers, he did just that, setting school records for interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Maybe it was the fact that he played for Purdue that has been known to be a martyr against Big Ten opponents or it could have been that he was buried by other talented corners in the 2014 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, Allen continued to plummet down the draft boards, and it wasn’t until the fifth round that the Falcons chose to take a chance on the player.

When the time came for the Atlanta Falcons—who were searching for answers in the secondary—this offseason, they didn’t have to look too far as they had a budding phenom waiting in the wings. Allen was ready to send shockwaves through the franchise and around the league. When a young player can be placed into his system that allows players to reach new potentials, the plays and performance that Allen showed on Monday evening become common.

One thing is certain that when Allen takes the field these days, there is a sense of “let me show them what they missed” pumping through his body, as he has been given the opportunity to capture the dream of starting for an NFL franchise.

It was not just the deflected pass that Allen caught that night in the Georgia Dome, but he secured a piece of every heart that was watching. A player that had been overlooked for his entire journey became the hero for not only the group of 52 on the active roster but for a fan base searching for hope.

Ricardo Allen may not become the greatest safety to ever play the game, and no one is expecting that. But in that moment, he became a legend, and it is because of this deflected pass that engraves him in the hearts of every Atlanta Falcons fan.

Next: Falcons vs Giants: Tale of the tape

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