Blidi Wreh-Wilson got the best of Teddy Bridgewater yet again

Blidi Wreh-Wilson did it again.

For the second time in eight years, the veteran Falcons cornerback recorded a game-sealing interception over quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The latest came last Thursday, with the Panthers trailing by eight points late in the fourth quarter. From the Falcons' 30-yard line, Bridgewater lofted a deep ball down the field that was intended for receiver D.J. Moore. Wreh-Wilson saw where the throw was going and bailed from his initial position.

He leapt in the air and made the game-sealing interception, helping give the Falcons a 25-17 victory over their divisional rival.

“It really wasn’t my responsibility,” Wreh-Wilson said. “I had off coverage and I was able to get him off the spot. He was rolling out to our right and I flipped my hips and saw the ball. I was able to make the play.”

Wreh-Wilson said this was the first time he’s posted a game-winning interception since 2012, when he was a college senior at Connecticut. And in that season, he recorded an interception that helped seal a game for the Huskies against Louisville.

The quarterback for that Louisville team? None other than Bridgewater.

It was a defensive struggle of a game that went to triple overtime. And in the third overtime, Wreh-Wilson recalled lining up against receiver Devante Parker, now with the Miami Dolphins, with Bridgewater looking for the back shoulder fade in the end zone. The ball didn’t reach its intended target, however, with Wreh-Wilson turning around and seeing the ball moving directly to him.

“I didn’t really play the route,” Wreh-Wilson said. “I just looked back at the ball and it hit me in the chest.”

Although the pick against Louisville didn’t immediately end the game, it did set up a 30-yard field goal four plays later on Connecticut’s third overtime possession, giving it a 23-20 victory.

This season, Wreh-Wilson leads the Falcons with two interceptions. The other pick Wreh-Wilson recorded came against the Bears, which helped set up a field goal from place-kicker Younghoe Koo. A reserve cornerback who has stepped in when called upon throughout his time with the Falcons, Wreh-Wilson has proven to be a reliable option in the defensive backfield.

A former third-round selection by the Titans in the 2013 NFL draft, Wreh-Wilson is now in his fifth season with the Falcons. Before this year began, the last time he’d recorded an interception in an NFL game was in 2014, his second NFL season with the Titans.

His late interception against Carolina was a sigh of relief for Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris, who has repeatedly said this season that the defense needed to do a better job of finishing games late. The Falcons held leads of 15 points or more in the fourth quarter against the Bears and Cowboys but lost. They also held a fourth-quarter lead before losing on the final play against the Lions.

“That’s what we’ve been talking about, right? We’ve been talking about ending games with either sacks or interceptions,” Morris said. “The guys went out (last Thursday) and did exactly that. The ball went up in the air and Blidi came down and made a great play. It was awesome.”

Wreh-Wilson is hopeful the way the Falcons' defeated the Panthers can give additional confidence to the defense when it comes to similar scenarios.

“We’ve put a lot of situational awareness in these moments of the game,” Wreh-Wilson said. “It was something we struggled with earlier and it’s been a shining light. We wanted to make sure we would go out there and get a stop. The drive was kind of going a little rocky and we were able to make a play.”

After last Thursday’s victory over Carolina, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said this was the kind of game that could potentially spark a run. The Falcons would certainly like to make up some ground after opening the season 2-6, which featured the team losing their first five games of the season.

When it comes to the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons have played better since former coach Dan Quinn was fired and Morris assumed interim coaching duties -- outside of the two end-of-half possessions that led to their loss against the Lions. If the Falcons can continue rectifying those situational issues, Wreh-Wilson believes they will be in better position to go on the type of run Ryan believes this team can make.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve been playing better team football,” Wreh-Wilson said. “We’re coming together. Just a lot of moments throughout the game we’ve handled better than previously this season. We’re trying to work out these opportunities and all these situations.”