Texans Recap: Falcons 21 – Texans 19
Welcome back to another analysis the way I see it by your boy, PlayActionReal. Coming off a confidence building win against the Steelers at home, the Texans traveled to Atlanta to play a team that doesn’t lose at home. Coming into this game I’m was looking for C.J. Stroud to continue his little hot streak. With over 1200 yards in the air and a completion percentage of 62.3% and six touchdowns, C.J. still hasn’t thrown an interception in his young career. By the way, Laremy Tunsil and Titus Howard returned to the offensive line today.
The Falcons began on offense and it wasn’t very successful. Rookie Will Anderson Jr backed up Desmond Ridder about 6 yards. Atlanta ending up punting on that drive and they still haven’t scored on their first drive of the year. The Texans ended up with good field position on their punt return. On their first drive, the Texans would spread the ball between Dameon Pierce on his runs and Dalton Schultz for a nice 14-yard catch. After they got stuffed on 3rd and one (they just couldn’t get the tush push from the offensive line) the Texans settled for a 38 yard field goal so now its 3-0 with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
On the falcon’s second drive of the game, Ridder found his tight end Jonnu Smith for 12 yards. This drive had a little bit of everything. Atlanta had a reverse which almost blew up. It ended up in a 21-yard pass play. Of course Bijan Robinson keeps making guys miss with a nice 12-yard gain. The next play, Ridder made sure to find Kyle Pitts for 16 yards. At this point Atlanta was staring at the goal line. Ridder runs an option keeper for an easy 7 yard touchdown. 3-7 Atlanta 6:48 left in the first quarter.
On the Texans next drive they plug in Pierce for a nice 15 yard run. The drive ended up stalling on a six-yard loss, tackle by L. Carter. There’s a little bit less than 4 minutes in the first quarter and Atlanta couldn’t come up with much on that drive either. A false start and a drop pass to Jonnu Smith and Atlanta punted.
The Texans started with their third drive of the day with 2 minutes left in the first quarter on their 25 yard line. C.J. hit Tank Dell for a great 22-yard gain and got them all the way down to the 49 yard line. After a short run from Pierce, C.J. found his buddy Nico Collins for a 25 yard pass. Tank Dell caught a 5 yard pass to end the first quarter. To the second quarter we go. After an incomplete pass to our tight end Schultz, we settled for a field goal from 43 yards.
It’s Atlanta’s fourth drive with 14 minutes left to go in the second quarter it’s 6-7 Falcons. I’m not feeling too bad. But Ridder has some tricks up his sleeve. He keeps using his cadence to draw the Texans offsides. I believe he pulled the Texans offsides four times with his hard counts. Our defense rallied on that play and the 3rd down pass was broken up by strong safety Petre and resulted in a punt.
The Texans next possession ended up in a punt. Even though CJ found his other tight end Teagan Quintoriano for a big 22 yard pass play. Atlanta also punted on their 5th drive of the day. It was a worrisome drive for me. They had a huge play action pass play for 28 yards to their full back. It happened to be his first catch of the year. Will Anderson Jr. the Texans rookie bookend looked good on that drive with a nice stop for the Texans. The defense also had a nice blitz up the middle to cause an incompletion. Don’t forget Desmond Ridder kept drawing the Texans off sides with his hard count even though they ended up punting. Both teams would trade three an outs to get to the 2 minute warning.
Desmond Ridder keeps dumping the ball to Kyle Pitts, but Atlanta is called for an unnecessary roughness call which resulted in another punt. Now it’s the Texans turn with 1:45 seconds left in the second quarter Robert Woods catches a screen pass for 12 yards. C.J. finds tight end Dalton Schultz on back to back passes to result in a first down with less than a minute in the half. Atlanta helped us out with a nice holding call to move us a little bit further down the field.
After an incompletion, C.J. Stroud found Tank Dell for 29 yards and they called a time out. Here comes Nico! He grabs a little 7 yard catch and 15 yard catch to follow that up. On that play with time ticking down the Falcons were called for delay of game. Their defender wouldn’t let Singletary up off the ground so they could spike the ball. Stroud missed Robert Woods on a throw and they settled for a field goal to end the second quarter. It’s now 9-7 Texans going to halftime. If you’ve read my Texans articles before on bleacherbrothers.com, I’m always cautious for good reason.
We go to the second half! The Texans rookie quarterback connects with John Metchie and Shultz early on. The big news was C.J. Stroud broke the rookie record for most past attempts with no interceptions. It was nice to see even though the drive stalled. Atlanta gets the ball back and Bijan Robinson fumbled the ball and the Texans recover! The Texans only manage the field goal off that turnover now it’s 12-7 Texans.
Atlanta has the ball on their own 25 yard line. Ridder passes to his tight end Smith for 19 yards, but the next play Will Anderson Jr set that edge with a nice stop. Ridder finds Pitts and his running backs. Robinson keeps bobbing and weaving a few yards here, a few yards there. They also premiered their backup running back/ fullback Tyler Allgeier for a few runs. Just then it happened again. The Falcons coughed up the ball and we get the ball back. The Texans couldn’t do anything with that turnover. C.J. wasn’t able to find anybody open so they punted.
Atlanta’s last drive of the third quarter. They push the ball down the field very well. Allgeier out of the pistol formation had a nice run to the right side. Ridder threw a pass to his tight end Smith which set up a little toss to Bijan for a touchdown and they converted a 2 point conversion with a catch from Allgeier, 12-15 Falcons. Call me worried with 12 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
I’ll fast forward a little bit. The Texans next drive was a punt and the Falcons answered with a little bit of Allgeier and Kyle Pitts to settle for a 33 yard field. Its now 12-18 with 6:57 left in the 4th. Call me stressed but confident in our young QB.
Here comes the Texans. Pierce ran up the middle with a nice 14 yard run and also a nice catch for 16 yards with a first down. On that drive Falcons veteran, Callais Campbell left with an injury. C.J. and his offense continued down the field with a nice play fake to Robert Woods for 10 yards and a first down. C.J. Stroud was quoted as saying Robert Woods is a nice, reliable receiver. The next play Pierce had a 18 yard rush that set up a strike to Dalton Shultz in the end zone for a touchdown! We are back up 19-18 with 1:49 left.
As you might predict the Atlanta Falcons last drive of the game they relied on Robinson and Desmond Ridder’s arm. He kept finding their young receiver Drake London around the side line to stop the clock. Next thing you know after a Pitts catch for 4 yards the Falcons are in easy field goal territory. All they needed to do was take a couple of knees and with a chip shot from 37 yards away, the Falcons win it 19-21.