Ryan guides Falcons past Broncos
Matt Ryan threw for three touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons continued their resurgence under interim coach Raheem Morris with a 34-27 victory against the visiting Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Ryan finished 25-of-35 passing for 284 yards and an interception. Olamide Zaccheaus racked up 103 receiving yards on four catches — all in the first half.
The Falcons (3-6) are 3-1 with Morris in charge after the firing of coach Dan Quinn last month. This marked Atlanta’s first victory in five home games this season.
Denver quarterback Drew Lock was 25-of-48 passing for 313 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also led the Broncos on the ground with 47 yards on six carries, with his 10-yard run with 1:52 to play helping cut the deficit to 34-27 on a drive that covered 82 yards in five plays.
Atlanta then recovered its second onside kick of the quarter. After the Falcons punted, Denver took over at its own 20-yard line with 38 seconds left but failed to gain yardage on four snaps.
The Broncos (3-5), trailing 27-6 in the third quarter, were unable to overcome a 21-point deficit as they did a week earlier against the Los Angeles Chargers. Still, they scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The scoring began with Younghoe Koo’s 52-yard field goal for the Falcons. Next came Ryan’s 51-yard pass to Zaccheaus with 1:24 left in the opening quarter.
Ryan hooked up with Brandon Powell for a 9-yard touchdown play and Koo made a 35-yard field goal as the Falcons led 20-3 at halftime. Atlanta’s first-half scoring drives consisted of 10, 11, nine and 12 plays.
Ryan had 216 first-half passing yards, with nearly half of those going to Zaccheaus.
The Broncos, who had their practice schedule disrupted for the second week in a row because of coronavirus concerns, were limited to Brandon McManus field goals of 43 and 41 yards through three quarters. Their first touchdown came on Lock’s 20-yard pass play to Jerry Jeudy with 13:15 remaining.
But thoughts of another comeback were dashed on their next possession when Lock was intercepted by Ricardo Allen. Atlanta converted two plays later on Todd Gurley’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Lock’s 9-yard pass to Tim Patrick with 3:53 left trimmed the margin, but Atlanta recovered an onside kick.
Gurley was the game’s top rusher with 53 yards on 19 attempts.
–Field Level Media