The Sports Inquirer attended the presser of Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robert Alford before his team’s practice on Jan. 9. Topics included preparations for the NFC Divisional Round game at the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 13 and working alongside fellow defensive back Desmond Trufant.
By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
The Sports Inquirer attended the pre-practice presser of Atlanta Falcons’ defensive back Robert Alford on Oct. 13. Topics included the Falcons’ defensive performance this season, seeing more action on his side of the field, and intercepting two passes including scoring the game-winning touchdown against Washington last week.
By E. Marcel Pourtout, Editor
Robert Alford’s 59-yard interception return for a touchdown lifted the Atlanta Falcons to a 25-19 overtime victory over the Washington Redskins at the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon. It was Alford’s second interception of the contest.
Devonta Freeman continued his torrid start to the season, rushing for a game-high 153 yards rushing on 27 carries along with catching seven balls for 44 yards.
Matt Ryan had an inconsistent day for the Falcons, throwing for a game-high 254 yards but also tossed two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Atlanta took the lead 12-7 with 9:14 left in the game on a recovered fumble in the endzone by Julio Jones. Freeman fumbled the ball on the two-yard line on a rushing attempt.
Washington retook the lead on a two-yard touchdown run down the right side by Matt Jones, making the score 13-12 at the 7:59 mark of the fourth quarter.
Ryan’s interception throw to Bashaud Breeland at the Atlanta 49-yard line on next possession.
The Redskins increased their lead to 16-12 when Hopkins connected with a 28-yard field goal with 2:38 left.
Atlanta responded with a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a six-yard touchdown run by Freeman, making the score 19-16 in favor of the Falcons with 24 seconds left. Earlier in that drive, Freeman appeared to have caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Ryan but the pass was ruled incomplete due to Freeman losing possession of the ball during the catch process despite crossing the goal line with the ball.
Washington drove the ball down the field and Hopkins’ 52-yard field goal as time expired in regulation took the game into overtime.
Washington won the toss to receive the ball first in the overtime with Alfords’ return sealing the victory for Atlanta.
Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for a team-high 219 yards and a touchdown pass. Atlanta’s defense held the Redskins to 51 rushing yards.
Atlanta’s Jacob Tamme caught a team-high eight passes for a game-high 94 yards. Jones had five catches for 67 yards while Roddy White had two catches for 23 yards for Atlanta.
Trailing 7-3 heading into the third quarter, the Falcons moved the ball down the field on their first drive of the second half, including a 4th and five conversion on a Freeman reception. However, Bryant’s 48-yard field goal hit the right upright to end the drive. He missed two field goal attempts in the contest.
Later in the third quarter and facing a fourth-and-five from Washington’s 40 yard line at the 4:40 mark, Ryan connected with Jones for a nine-yard completion, continuing the drive which ended with a 28-yard field goal by Bryant, cutting the Falcons’ deficit to 7-6 with 1:54 left in the quarter.
Going back to the start of the contest, on the Falcons’ second possession of the game, Ryan threw a pass that was picked off by Trenton Robinson. Atlanta held the Redskins to a punt in their subsequent possession.
Washington scored on the first possession of the second quarter on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Derek Carrier, giving the Redskins the 7-0 lead.
Bryant’s 43-yard field goal early in the second quarter cut the Falcons’ deficit to 7-3.
Atlanta’s defense made a strong play when Alford picked off an intended pass for Pierre Garcon with 5:14 left in first half.
With the Falcons driving down the field, Ryan fumbled the ball while being sacked by Chris Baker of Washington and recovered by the road team on Atlanta’s 12-yard line with 2:17 left in the first half.
Bryant’s missed field goal for Atlanta from 38 yards out was the final play of the first half with the Redskins taking a 7-3 lead into the locker room.
Atlanta outgained Washington 152-118 in total yards in the first half.