The Washington Redskins were in a charitable mood.
The Falcons were more than happy to accept the seven turnovers and crafted them into a thrilling 27-26 victory Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons improved to 4-10, while the Redskins dropped to 3-11.
The Redskins scored with 22 seconds remaining, but a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Pierre Garcon for the two-point conversion was broken up by Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant.
Jason Snelling recovered the onside kicks in a mad scramble to secure the win after Patrick DiMarco bobbled the kick.
The Redskins tied a team record for fumbles loss in a game with five, originally set against the HoustonOilers on Oct. 30, 1988. Toss in two interceptions by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was starting for the benched Robert Griffin III, and the Falcons were in business.
After getting stopped on a fourth-and-goal in the third quarter, Falcons safety William Moore’s intercepted Cousins to set up go-ahead score. Falcons running back Steven Jackson scored his second touchdown, a 2-yard run, to put the Falcons ahead in the third quarter, 24-20.
An interception by Desmond Trufant with 5:38 – the Redskins’ seventh turnover – helped to wrap up the victory.
Matt Bryant added a 51-yard field.
The Redskins mounted a last-ditch drive
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, with a 12-yard catch in the third quarter, became just the fifth player in league history to amass over 15,000 yards receiving. He joined Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Isaac Bruce.
The Falcons fizzled after a fast start in the first half and trailed 20-17 at halftime.
The Falcons, with three rookies starting in the secondary, were shredded by Cousins for 248 yards and two touchdowns and the offense couldn’t take full benefit of four Washington turnovers.
The play was downright uninspiring as the two losing teams flailed away. At one point, there were fumbles on three consecutive plays.
The Falcons opened the game with a crafty 14-play, 83-yard touchdown drive. They converted on three third downs – passes to Darius Johnson and two to Roddy White – and benefited from a defensive holding call on Washington cornerback David Amerson. Steven Jackson scored on a 1-yard run and powered over Washington cornerback Josh Wilson for the score.
The defense started hot, too.
On Washington’s first possession, defensive end Osi Umenyiora stripped the ball away from Cousins and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux recovered at the Skins’ 36-yard line.
After a 2-yard run by Jackson, Ryan connected with Gonzalez for an 8-yard gain, but Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall was called for unnecessary roughness to move the ball down to Washington’s 13. Ryan passed to Gonzalez at the 2-yard line, he stopped and sliced his way into the end zone to put the Falcons up, 14-0.
The Redskins answered quickly.
Alfred Morris broke loose for a 37-yard run and Cousins connected with veteran tight end Fred Davis for a 23-yard touchdown to cap a crisp, four-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to make it 14-7.
Davis was open behind cornerback Robert Alford and in front of safety Zeke Motta.
The Falcons stalled out, but recovered a muff punt. The drive stalled at Washington’s 2 before and Matt Bryant added 20-yard field goal.
Then things just got down right bizarre.
Morris fumbled for Washington when hit by one of his own lineman. Falcons defensive end Malliciah Goodman recovered and stumbled while trying to score.
On the next play, Ryan fumbled after being pummeled by Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan. Brian Orakpo recovered.
On the next play, Cousins completed a pass to Santana Moss, who fumble and William Moore recovered.
The Falcons couldn’t move the ball and were forced to punt.
The Redskins answered with a 53-yard touchdown bomb to Pierre Garcon, who got behind Desmond Trufant as Motta took a horrible angle underneath the play.
After a punt by the Falcons, the Redskins tied the game with a 33-yard field goal from Kai Forbath.
On the Falcons ensuing possession, Ryan tossed an interception that the Redskins converted into 37-yard goal at the buzzer.