5 takeaways from Falcons win: All 2-0 teams made playoffs last season

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons joined “The 2-0 Club” with that stirring 25-24 comeback win over the Packers on Sunday.

So far, eight teams -- the Falcons, Ravens, Cowboys, Eagles, 49ers, Bucs, Commanders and Dolphins -- have started 2-0. The Browns and Saints could also start 2-0 with victories in their Monday Night Football games.

Last season, each of the six teams to begin the season 2-0 advanced to the postseason.

The Falcons haven’t been to the playoffs since 2017, which was the last time they were in “The 2-0 Club.”

“The team going down 12 in the fourth quarter - a lot of times in this league, you see a lot of teams lay down and just call it quits,” Falcons safety Jessie Bates III said. “But it says a lot about what we got in this locker room ...This was our first time facing some adversity as a team. I thought we responded good.”

Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. Comeback kids: The Falcons stormed back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Packers 25-24. Youngkoo Koo made a 25-yard field goal with 57 seconds left for the game-winning points.

The Falcons offense amassed 448 total yards, including 211 rushing yards.

The Falcons erased a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to win for the first time since Week 2 of the 2015 season. In the 24-20 win over the Giants on Sept. 20, 2015, the Falcons trailed 20-10 entering the fourth quarter.

2. Finishing strong: The Falcons have outscored their opponents 27-0 in the fourth quarter.

“I think it says a lot,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said on Monday. “A lot things we pride ourselves on and the way we want to operate. It just speaks to the conditioning and the way our guys want to operate and the way we want to finish game and adjust. Be that team in the fourth quarter. But just because we did it the first two weeks, we’ve got to continue to push so that we can continue to finish games.”

The Falcons sensed that they were wearing down the Packers as the game moved on.

“In the fourth quarter, you felt them start to back off and not come as hard as they did in the first half,” rookie running back Bijan Robinson said.

The Falcons felt that had the Packers defense off balance.

“I think the fourth quarter, the way we started running the ball, (they) started bringing the defense backs up and we got some shots downfield to the receivers,” Robinson said. “They just started getting confused on what personnel was going to be out there, what we were going to do, whether we were going to pass or run it, and then we just kept them on their toes.”

3. Robinson rolling: The Falcons offense started to pick up steam once they starting leaning on Robinson.

His big run on fourth-and-inches helped to seal the victory.

“Just get the first down,” Robinson said. “Don’t worry about anything else, but just get the first down so we can end the game.”

He rushed for 124 yards on 18 carries for 6.5 average per carry. He also caught four passes for 48 yards.

Robinson, who 255 total yards from scrimmage, is the second rookie in franchise history to have 200-or-more yards from scrimmage in his first two career games. William Andrews had 313 in 1979.

Robinson also has the most receptions by a Falcons rookie running back in his first two career games with 10, surpassing Sonny Campbell, who had six in 1970.

Robinson is also the first Falcons rookie running back since Andrews in 1979 to have a 100-yard rushing game within his first two career games.

“We just kept going downhill and tried to get as many yards as we could,” Robinson said.

4. Pass breaks ups: Defensive tackle David Onyemata had an active day.

He had a career-high two pass breakups and two tackles.

The Falcons in-game adjustments work and that allow the defense to shutout the Packers in the fourth quarter.

“We were able to manage and hold up against what they did and not allow too many points,” linebacker Kaden Elliss said. “When it became time, we made some corrections. Congrats to our staff. They did some awesome stuff on the sideline to get us to go out and make a couple of adjustments, and we were able to stop them.”

5. Passing attack improvement: Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 19 of 32 passes for 237 yards, one touchdown and interception. He finished with a passer rating of 79.8.

Ridder also rushed 10 times for 39 yards and a touchdown.

Ridder also made some history as he became only the second quarterback in franchise history to have at least 100 completions within his first six career starts, joining Mike Moroski, with 126 in 1983-84.

Ridder’s completion of 45 yards to wide receiver Mack Hollins was a career long.

“I saw a leader who made some plays when opportunities came,” left tackle Jake Matthews said when asked about Ridder’s play. “I thought he played great today. The way he led the huddle and called the plays, you could tell we were confident and on the same page. I have high praises for him.”

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