The Atlanta Falcons lost in week 13 of the NFL season on a surprising performance by their third string quarterback T.J. Yates. Perennial starter Matt Schaub injured his foot in week 11, which was bad news for those that bough Texans tickets. It was then up to former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinert to get the job done. However, Leinert broke his collarbone in his first start, which then left it up to rookie Yates.
Yates looked to be focusing on all-pro wide receiver Andre Johnson early in the game. Johnson, who missed 6 weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury made leaping catches on the first two completions of the game. However, that drive ended in a punt.
Both teams had trouble getting their offense started in the first quarter. After trading punts to start the game, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception that led to the first points of the game, a 43-yard field goal by Neil Rackers. They followed that up with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Yates to tight end Joel Dressen mid way through the second quarter. The big play on the drive was a 50-yard hail marry pass from Yates to Johnson.
Fans were upset when Atlanta finally got on the board at the 5:06 mark in the second quarter with a 19-yard field goal by Matt Bryant. Texan tickets holder were expecting to see a blowout this game.
The rookie quarterback had a little luck on his side to start the 4th quarter. His worst pass of the game was an interception by Falcon linebacker Mike Peterson. Peterson returned the pick for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a penalty on the Falcons. Fans breathed a sign of relief when the touchdown was called back.
A 4-yard pass from Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan to Roddy White was the first Falcon touchdown of the game. That touchdown tied the score at 10 heading into the 4th quarter. However, the next series was an impressive 19 play drive that covered 85 yards. That drive ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Arian Foster. Foster carried most of the offense after Andre Johnson left the game in the third quarter with an injury to his other hamstring.
The Falcons responded with their own 12 play drive, however after moving the ball 55 yards, they gave it away on downs after being unable to convert. After a quick 3 and out, the Falcons had another chance to tie the game.
The got the ball on their own 33 yard line with :59 seconds left in the game. They were able to move the ball to mid-field and get in a position for a game tying touchdown pass, but they couldn’t make it happen. Ryan overthrew wide receiver Roddy White who was open in the end zone. Wide receiver Julius Jones had a chance to win the game as time expired. However, Texan Kareem Jackson was able to bat away the ball in the end zone and prevented Jones from making the grab. This game ended up being a real nail bitter in the end. I am sure those that bought Texan tickets for this game didn’t expect the game to be this close. Be sure that you don’t miss your chance to see exciting games like this one. Purchasing your Texans tickets now!
Yates finished the game 12-for-25 for 188 yards with one touchdown. His quarterback rating for his first NFL start finished at 86.8. That compares to the 20-for46, 267 yard performance of his counterpart from Atlanta. However, the two early interceptions thrown by Ryan may have been the difference in the game.