Since week one, Cordarrelle Patterson has shown the threat he poses in the Falcons offense. From his explosive runs in week one against the Philadelphia Eagles to his one-handed grab in the Falcons loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that he scored for a touchdown. It has become clear that Patterson is much more than just a dynamic kick returner.
In Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team, Patterson had one of the best games of his career, if not the best, further proving his value to the Falcons offense.
Patterson caught three receiving touchdowns, the first multiple touchdown game of his career. The three scores put Patterson's season total at four touchdowns, tying his career season-high from 2013 when he scored four touchdowns with the Vikings.
Patterson's third touchdown may have been the most impressive of them all. Patterson lined up out wide on the left side of the field. He made a quick move as the ball was snapped to get Football Team defender Kendall Fuller off balance and caught the touchdown pass over Fuller's outstretched white gloves.
The score helped the Falcons keep pace with Washington, who scored on the prior drive and shifted the momentum back to the Falcons as they jumped to a 23-19 lead with just over 11 minutes to go in the third quarter.
"Like I said earlier in the week when your number is called, you gotta go and make a play," Patterson said. "They did a good job calling my number, and I just tried to go out there and make a play for my team."
Patterson's first touchdown came on a 42-yard touchdown pass where he walked into the end zone untouched after speeding past the Football Team defenders, who were not within five yards of Patterson.
Patterson said that he did not do much to evade the Football Team defenders and that he was "too surprised" that he was left so open on that touchdown.
Quarterback Matt Ryan said postgame that Patterson is a "throwback" type of football player because of his toughness and willingness to accept any task or role. He added that Patterson is someone he had admired for years when they were on opposing teams.
"He's played extremely well," Ryan said. "He's made plays for us in the run game in the pass game, and in the return game, he impacts the game in so many different ways. I'm glad we have him."
Still, even with Patterson being the Falcons' most dominant offensive weapon on Sunday, he was on the sidelines for the Falcons' final two offensive drives. The first drive came with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter, following a Washington touchdown and the Falcons leading 30-28. With Washington only having two timeouts, a first down could have essentially ended the game, but the Falcons failed to convert and punted with 1:47 left.
"He is not the only good player we have," Ryan said of Patterson not being on the field. "We have a lot of good players. We got a lot of good backs. I think Mike Davis does a great job for us. I love our guys, and I trust all of our guys that when they're in there when their number is called, guys are going to make a play."
On the next drive, J.D. McKissic scored on a 30-yard touchdown reception to give Washington a four-point lead, and on the final drive, Patterson still did not see a snap.
"A lot of it is about ball security," Smith said on the final two possessions, "[Cordarrelle Patterson] does a lot of things for us and Mike [Davis] and [Wayne] Gallman. So we're gonna go guys with trust right there. So, again, we didn't get off blocks. And so they backed us up, and you got to evaluate. Obviously, Hindsight is 2020, sure, could [we] have picked up with a screen or whatever. I'll go back and look at it what I should have done differently. That's fair, but we trust Mike Davis. That's why he's in there."
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