The Atlanta Falcons are wrapping up a three-game road stretch on Sunday in Jacksonville against the Jaguars. Take a look at these photos from the game.
After one of the most frustrating stretches in team history, the Falcons corrected a number of key issues Sunday in Jacksonville and came away with a hard-fought 23-17 win. Matt Ryan completed 22 of 35 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown, and Julio Jones came up big yet again—this time for nine catches, 118 receiving yards and a score. The superstar receiver also broke the franchise single-season receptions record with his 116th catch of 2015, passing teammate Roddy White.
Up three late in the fourth quarter, Ryan put together an efficient yet time-consuming possession that resulted in a Shayne Graham field goal—forcing Jacksonville to go for a touchdown with less than two minutes left in regulation. White, who caught three balls for 47 yards, kept the drive alive with a 20-yard grab on a third and 17 situation.
Atlanta wouldn't have been in that favorable spot, however, if Kemal Ishmael didn't make a remarkable interception late in the first half. With Jacksonville on Atlanta's one yard line, the hard-hitting safety picked off Blake Bortles and ran it back 84 yards—killing what had been a long, effective drive. Although he wasn't able to find pay dirt, he set up a Shayne Graham field goal that gave the visitors a 17-3 lead.
The Falcons were able to take down Jacksonville by correcting a number of mistakes that plagued them throughout their losing streak. Both of Atlanta's touchdowns came in the red zone; the pass rush took a big step forward with a bevy of pressures and two sacks—one from Adrian Clayborn, the other via Philip Wheeler.
This triumph brings the Falcons back to .500 and gives them a chance to finish 2015 with a winning record. Playoffs or not, another victory or two in the next couple of weeks would set an ecouraging tone heading into what should be a pivotal offseason.