ATLANTA -- The Falcons (1-3) lost another nail-biter in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, falling to the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) 36-37.
Atlanta's offense had another strong performance, gaining 495 yards, including 403 yards through the air. The Falcons' defense, however, couldn't make enough big plays late in the game and gave up 407 yards to the Bengals' offense.
Damontae Kazee's first interception came at a crucial time
Damontae Kazee was in the right place at the right time to pluck Andy Dalton's pass out of the air after it bounced off of tight end Tyler Kroft. Kazee returned his first career interception 23 yards, setting the Falcons' offense up near midfield.
Atlanta's offense took it from there, scoring on a wide-open pass from Matt Ryan to Calvin Ridley. Ridley's second touchdown of the game, a 30-yarder, gave the Falcons a 33-28 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Takk McKinley picked up right where he left off
When the Falcons needed someone to step up on defense and make plays, Takk McKinley answered. The second-year defensive end sacked Andy Dalton three times on Sunday, more than doubling his sack total for the season. McKinley is the Falcons’ sack leader with five sacks through four games.
McKinley sat out the Falcons’ game against the New Orleans Saints with a groin injury, but he showed no lingering effects from that injury Sunday. He has now recorded at least one sack in each game this season.
Another pair of touchdowns for Calvin Ridley
After scoring three touchdowns against the Saints, Calvin Ridley caught two touchdown passes against the Bengals. The rookie finished the afternoon with four catches for 54 yards and the pair of scores.
The entire Falcons receiving corps had a good day, as both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu topped 100 yards. Jones led all receivers with nine catches for 173 yards and Sanu finished with 111 yards on six catches.
Keith Tandy’s big special teams play
The Falcons needed something to swing momentum in their favor against the Bengals, and safety Keith Tandy came through in a big way.
After a stop by Atlanta's defense, Tandy broke through the Bengals' line and blocked Kevin Huber's punt. Cincinnati recovered the punt, but the Falcons gained possession at the Bengals' 8-yard line. Atlanta cut into the Bengals third-quarter lead with a Matt Bryant field goal after the blocked punt.
You can watch the blocked punt, here.