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Younghoe Koo kicks Falcons over Cardinals

Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Younghoe Koo’s 21-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Atlanta Falcons to a 20-19 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Atlanta rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder went 19-for-26 passing for 169 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions to pick up his first victory in three career starts for the Falcons (6-10), who ended a four-game losing streak.

Tyler Allgeier rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, with Cordarrelle Patterson rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, in addition to catching six passes for 42 yards. Drake London had five receptions for 47 yards, with MyCole Pruitt making four catches for 49 yards.

Cardinals quarterback David Blough went 24-for-40 passing for 222 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (4-12) lost their sixth straight game.

Trey McBride had seven catches, including a 4-yard touchdown, for 78 yards, while Marquise Brown added six receptions for 61 yards. James Conner rushed for 79 on 16 carries.

Trailing 14-13 at halftime, the Cardinals took a 16-14 lead on Matt Prater’s 36-yard field goal with nine minutes left in the third quarter, but the Falcons regained the lead on Koo’s 27-yarder with 9:36 remaining in the game.

The Cardinals responded by driving 36 yards in 11 plays, capped by Prater’s 57-yard field goal for a 19-17 lead with 4:57 left.

But Ridder drove the Falcons 72 yards in 11 plays to the Cardinals’ 2-yard line to set up Koo’s game-winning kick.

After the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead on Prater’s 38-yard field goal with 8:24 left in the first quarter, the Falcons responded by going with a methodical drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes.

The Falcons drove 75 yards in 16 plays that consisted of seven passes and nine rushes, including seven by Allgeier, whose 5-yard touchdown gave Atlanta a 7-0 lead with 13:38 left in the second quarter.

The Cardinals regained the lead after Ridder’s fumble was recovered by defensive tackle Leki Fotu on Atlanta’s 8-yard line. Two plays later, Blough threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to McBride for a 10-7 lead with 10 minutes left in the half.

The Falcons took a 14-10 lead on Patterson’s 5-yard touchdown run one play after Richie Grant blocked Andy Lee’s punt and recovered it at the 5-yard line with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media