Your best players have to come through in crunch time.
After two excruciating losses, the Falcons rallied for a 33-32 victory over the Green Bay Packers when Matt Ryan threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds remaining Sunday.
Although he wasn't able to deliver a second fourth-quarter comeback after orchestrating a 13-play, 86-yard, almost 9-minute go-ahead touchdown drive earlier in the quarter, Rodgers certainly passed the back-to-being-himself eye test.
Pass play of 25 yards allowed by the Packers. Sanu raced by him and hauled in the pass in front of the goalpost, the ball easily clearing Ryan's outstretched hands.
"When we practiced it during the week, he said he was going to put a little extra zip on that. and he did", Sanu said with a grin. We get putting the ball in your best player's hands, but Melvin Gordon leads the National Football League in touchdowns, and not giving him a shot for his 11th in that moment will lead to plenty of second-guessing this week in San Diego. You can dismiss this win if you'd like, but it still counts and it keeps Atlanta in the lead in the NFC South. Or the Packers' plan could be to just let Rodgers run. "We just backed our tight end up more", he said.
It was a game of long drives, the Packers going 86 yards on 13 plays in the fourth quarter to take the lead after the Falcons went 80 yards in 14 plays to go up 26-24 in the third quarter, that march climaxed by Devonta Freeman's 1-yard touchdown run. They paid a price for holding Jones to three catches for 29 yards, however, as Ryan was content to look elsewhere. "He has ice in his veins". Rodgers also thrived on the ground, carrying the ball six times for 60 yards, leading the team. Rookies Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison scored for the first time, while Jeff Janis had his first regular-season touchdown.
Here's everything you need to know, or just forgot, or missed because you stopped watching in protest after FOX showed the 12-men-on-the-field replay for the 450th time, plus all kinds of other wacky whatnots, from the Packers' Week 8 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Carr threw for a franchise-record 513 yards, completing 40 of 59 passes without an interception, and the Raiders overcame an NFL-record 23 penalties for 200 yards.
Matthew Stafford threw for 240 yards and a touchdown for Detroit (4-4), which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
BRYANT KICKS WAY TO TOP: Matt Bryant passed Morten Anderson to become the Falcons' all-time leading scorer.
The Seahawks got a field goal and went on to win 26-24.
Vic Beasley Jr. also had a sack, giving him 6 1-2 over the last four games and 7 1-2 for the season. Davis totaled only five rushing yards on five carries in his two games with his new team.
TAMME HURTS SHOULDER: Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme left with a right shoulder injury suffered on the first possession. His season completion percentage has gone from a lowly 56.1 percent three weeks ago to 64.0 percent - much more in line with his 65 percent career mark - entering Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field. After that, it's three straight on the road.
Those were promising signs for the future, but they hadn't averted the disasters of the last two weeks, the losses to Seattle and San Diego in closely contested games that Atlanta had led late.