Falcons’ three QBs take turns intercepting versus Patriots
The Falcons’ faltering attack turned against the Patriots’ solid defense on Thursday night. Let’s say, New England had an early Thanksgiving with those birds.
The one-sided nature of the Week 11 game culminated in the fourth inning when the Pats (7-4) blocked all three Falcons quarterbacks and returned one of six picks.
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In fact, the Falcons (4-6) had four possessions during the quarter, and they all ended in interceptions. Matt Ryan was picked with 12 minutes to go and left with five minutes left. After sassy Ryan was withdrawn from the game at a two-minute warning with Atlanta down by 3, subs Josh Rosen and Feleipe Franks threw INT at their respective properties. Rosen’s INT, to Kyle Van Noy, went the other 35 yards to score New England’s final goal in a 25-0 win.
If you’re wondering, this isn’t the first time three different Falcons quarterbacks have been blocked in the same game. It also happened in 1966 during the team’s inaugural season (Randy Johnson, Dennis Claridge, Steve Sloan vs 49ers).
And according to The Associated Press, the last time that happened to any NFL team was on November 12, 2000, when the Chargers’ Ryan Leaf, Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno were picked up by the Dolphins.
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The Falcons’ first intercept was Ryan’s pass for rookie Kyle Pitts. The ball flew over Pitts’ head and fell into the hands of Devin McCourty of the Patriots. 22. The match resulted in a goal on the New England field, making it 16-0.
“It’s person-to-person coverage,” Ryan said. “I tried to put it out there and it felt like there was a lot of contact, but we didn’t get the call there.” “Try to put it on top, for [Pitts] an opportunity to run and play, but it was unsuccessful. “
Ryan’s second pick was a high throw-in which receiver Olamide Zaccheaus fell into JC Jackson’s hands. New England converted that revenue into another on-field goal and led 19-0.
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“When you get the lead, that’s when some of those plays come in,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “Devin’s interception was one of those great interceptions after they had the ball in a good position and had a chance to get back into the game. It was a big show for us.”
Belichick admitted that New England entered the game focused on stopping Pitts, a tactic that became more pressing when the wide receiving team’s Cordarrelle Patterson (ankle) became a late scratch. Pitts finished with three receptions in 29 yards.
“He’s a big challenger,” Belichick said. He picked out the work of defenders Ja’Whaun Bentley and Dont’a Hightower and defensive backs Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger.
“I think our players have done their job well, they have a good perception,” he said. “They try to put out a bunch of action passes and I think Bentley, Hightower, Phillips and Kyle Dugger, those guys have a good perception of some of the overtaking routes.”
As the Falcons (?), the other five passes they made during the quarter were all completed to their receivers, so the ball never hit the ground when Atlanta fouled in the final period.
Four interceptions on Thursday put the Patriots leading the NFL with 18, ahead of the Bills by 15. Twelve of the picks went to Zach Wilson (four), Sam Darnolds (three), Mike White (two), Tua Tagovailoa, Rosen and Franks (one each), but the other INTs went up against Ryan, Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert and Baker Mayfield.
Good full-back, bad full-back, mid-back, it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that the New England team is doing well this year.