Patterson’s angry runs, defense shine in first Atlanta Falcons win

Sep 25, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) rushes for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) rushes for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

In the first two games of the 2022 season, the Atlanta Falcons were only outscored by five points in those contests en route to their third straight 0-2 record. That said, there were some positives to take out of those games, most notably the fight that these 53 men are showing early in a “transition” year.

Count Cordarrelle Patterson as one of those players.

After a modest game against the Rams, Patterson exploded for 141 yards on the ground, added another 12 yards receiving, leapt over defenders, and rumbled his way on offense alongside Kyle Pitts and Drake London to power the Falcons to their first win, 27-23, against the Seattle Seahawks from Lumen Field.

Early in this game, much like what transpired with the Rams, it just felt like the Seahawks couldn’t stop finding the open man. Much of this could surprisingly be attributed to quarterback Geno Smith (32/44, 325 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), who consistently threw with anticipation, finding guys like Tyler Lockett (nine catches for 76 yards), DK Metcalf (five catches, 64 yards, TD), Will Dissly, and Noah Fant constantly for good chunk plays. Smith was also aided by Rashaad Penny (14 carries, 66 yards), who was gashing Atlanta early with missed tackles galore.

Meanwhile, for the Falcons, quarterback Marcus Mariota earned his first win completing 13 passes on 20 attempts for 229 yards with a touchdown and an ugly interception right at the end of the first half when the Seahawks curiously opted to take a chip shot field goal after already converting a fourth down play on their second touchdown drive of the half.

To be fair, this game was between two of the lower teams in the league currently, but that’s why the NFL is great: anything can happen and make a traditional “Redzone” game become a must-watch. This was evident by how Seattle and Atlanta simply couldn’t “put their foot down” the other team; each side was surrendering big plays left and right yet always managed to play “bend but don’t break” football.

Of course, while this game did showcase Pitts being featured in the offense, it did exactly what Smith has emphasized alongside the young star: his selfless style of play opens up the rest of the offense. This showed on the Falcons’ final touchdown of the game, when after lining Pitts up outside to sell him to a short crossing route, Mariota hit London on a quick seam and the receiver who “just hates DBs” rumbled his way for a 14-yard score.

Late in the game, the strangest thing happened, and in Falcons games, almost anything is bizarre, but this takes the cake. Following a Seahawks punt, Atlanta was inside the Seattle 45 with just over six minutes remaining when, out of nowhere, an NFL official (not on the field) made the players and referees evacuate the playing field.

The reason why? An unidentified flying object. Or, as it was later revealed, a drone was in the area, thus delaying all airspace and forcing the delay.

This delay very nearly cost Atlanta, because on a second down play, Mariota attempted to run the read option with Tyler Allgeier, but he put it too far into the rookie’s chest, lost the ball, and Seattle recovered, giving the home team one final chance to pry the victory out of one beak and into another.

However, the Falcons’ defense, much maligned at this point, essentially said “We’re finishing this. Right. Now.”

And did they ever.

A first-play sack of Smith by Lorenzo Carter put Seattle behind early, but they quickly recovered and pushed the ball down to the Atlanta 24 with just over two minutes left.

However, in an almost-Falcons like proverbial “shot in the foot”, Seattle was pushed back by a holding penalty, then sacked by Jarrett right out of the two-minute warning.

Immediately after, on fourth-and-18 from the Atlanta 38, Smith rolled out right, and attempted to hit Lockett on a deep crosser, but Richie Grant was there, intercepted the errant throw, and the Falcons used Patterson to salt away the win.

After going 1-1 on their west coast trip, the Falcons now return home to welcome in the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland’s coming in hot, having defeated their division rival Steelers on Thursday night and thus have more rest than Atlanta. That said, this is the second time this season Atlanta’s been in this situation within the first month.

Whether or not they make it back to .500 before facing Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa will be answered on October 2nd, 1:00PM EST, on CBS.

Next. Former Falcons OC promoted. dark