Robinson's runs, defense's toughness secure tough Atlanta Falcons win

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons
Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Bijan Robinson lined up in the backfield, took the toss from Desmond Ridder, and followed his blockers. Finding the hole, he converted a tough fourth-and-one with less than three minutes remaining and the Falcons with the ball.

What happened subsequently showcased to the world, and the greater Atlanta area, that these are not the same Falcons of old.

Fueled by his first career 100-yard rushing performance, the Falcons relied on Younghoe Koo's leg to take a late lead, then saw their defense stop a very game Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers, 25-24, marking the first time since the 2017 season that Atlanta has started the regular season 2-0.

For the Falcons, quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 19 of 32 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown, also adding a six-yard rushing touchdown and converted multiple third downs with his legs. He also threw his first career interception in the NFL, sailing a pass intended for Kyle Pitts that Rasul Douglas came down with. That said, Ridder now improves his stellar record since quarterbacking at Cincinnati of winning games at home, improving to 30-0 in front of friendly crowds.

Also for Atlanta, for the second consecutive week, cornerback Jeff Okudah and joker Cordarrelle Patterson did not play despite practicing throughout the week. Their statuses leading up to the next contest will be something to monitor, but with both trending in the right direction, it bodes well. The defense also played without Troy Andersen, who was in concussion protocol.

On the other side, Love completed 14 of his 25 attempts for 151 yards, but unlike Ridder, he had three touchdowns through the air and added a couple of runs himself to keep drives alive. He also threw without star wide receiver Christian Watson, out with a hamstring injury, running back Aaron Jones, and left tackle David Bakhtiari, and also lost left guard Elgton Jenkins to a knee injury. In the case of Bakhtiari, it remains to be seen if they kept him out as a precaution or the fact that he recently was so outspoken against playing on turf in the wake of Aaron Rodgers' torn Achilles.

This game was not without some interesting moments for the Falcons. After forcing Green Bay to punt on their first two drives, the offense elected to go for three consecutive plays from the one-yard line, but couldn't punch it in, resulting in a field goal. Their next drive wasn't much better, as Ridder, on fourth down from the Packers 41, stared down Drake London and nearly saw Jaire Alexander have a house call. Ridder had another potential "free" interception dropped by linebacker Quay Walker, who was questionable up until game time (concussion protocol).

On their second possession of the second half, this is where some controversy arose. Facing a first down from the 12 yard line, Ridder dropped back, appeared to throw it away through the end zone, but Mack Hollins somehow was there and came down with the ball, resulting in a touchdown. However, replay review claimed to show that Hollins' heel was down, resulting in an incomplete pass and nullifying the touchdown.

From there, the Falcons fell down on another impressive Love touchdown pass, but from there proceeded to pitch their third straight fourth quarter shutout dating back to the regular season finale against the Buccaneers. In fact, in the fourth quarter, the Packers had 11 total yards of offense compared to the Falcons' 167, an incredible difference. Adding in the performance against Carolina, and those numbers go from 167-11 Falcons to 235-45, a near 200 yards.

For the Falcons, they now transition to going on the road for the first time this year, travelling to Detroit for a battle with the feisty Lions. Detroit is coming off a close loss to the Seahawks at home in overtime. It'll be yet another test for this offensive line with Aidan Hutchinson coming off the edge, Brian Branch in the secondary, and CJ Gardner Johnson. However, they might be without David Montgomery, who was carted off late in the game with a thigh injury.