Younghoe Koo’s game-winning placement gives Falcons rookie Desmond Ridder his first career victory
Younghoe Koo had a 21-yard field goal on the final play, lifting the Atlanta Falcons against the Arizona Cardinals 20-19 on Sunday to end a four-game skid.
In a clash of teams eliminated from the playoffs, Atlanta rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder earned his first career win. He was 19 of 26 for 169 yards and no interceptions in his third start as he auditions for a starting job next season.
The Falcons (6-10) improved to 5-8 in one possession games. They were 7-2 in such games last season.
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The Cardinals (4-12), playing with their fourth starting quarterback in four weeks, have lost six straight and eight of nine. David Blough completed 22 of 40 passes for 222 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for Colt McCoy, who is sidelined with a concussion.
Ridder led Atlanta for 72 yards on 12 plays in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Falcons reached the red zone with 1:49 remaining and timed to set up Koo’s game-ending kick.
Ridder is still looking for his first career touchdown pass and nearly had one before Cordarrelle Patterson dropped the ball into the end zone in the fourth.
JAGUARS ONE STEP FURTHER TO DIVISION TITLE AFTER BLOW VICTORY OVER TEXANS
Tyler Allgeier and Patterson have combined for 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Arizona took a 16-14 lead on Matt Prater’s 36-yard field goal at third and 19-17 with 4:57 left on Prater’s 57-yard field goal.
The Falcons took a 7-3 lead early in the second on Allgeier’s 5-yard run, but Ridder quickly lost a fumble to Leki Fotu on a snap at the 11-yard line, and the Cardinals got away. converted for a touchdown to make it 10. -7 on Trey McBride’s short touchdown.
Atlanta then went for it in the fourth-and-second of the 9 before Ridder’s pass bounced past Drake London in the end zone, but was given a reprieve when Richie Grant blocked and recovered a punt at the 5. Patterson ran to score it and the Falcons led 14-13 at halftime.
Working a deuce stunt from the right side, Arizona defensive end JJ Watt sacked Ridder early in the third and is now 10 1/2 this season. Watt, 33, is a three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year and a five-time All-Pro who is retiring after the season. This is his sixth season with at least 10 sacks.
The Cardinals lost linebacker Isaiah Simmons (leg), receiver Robbie Anderson (back) and defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter (knee) in the first half. Simmons returned to the game, but the others did not. Running back James Conner (shin) left in the second half. Falcons guard Keith Smith (concussion symptoms) left late in the second quarter but returned in the second half. Allgeier left the field with an undisclosed injury early in the fourth but returned. Running back Avery Williams was ruled out in the fourth with a foot injury.
The teams started the game at the top of the 2023 Draft standings with No. 4 Arizona and No. 6 Atlanta.
Shortly after No. 1 Georgia held off No. 4 Ohio State in a game that ended just after midnight, Mercedes-Benz Stadium staff worked through the night to prepare the ground.
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Cardinals: In San Francisco next Sunday.
Falcons: Tampa Bay hosts next Sunday