LONDON -- The Falcons fell back to .500 following a 23-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Wembley Stadium, unable to overcome first-half mistakes with greater production in the second. This marks the second consecutive loss after starting the season with two straight wins.
Below is how every game recap this 2023 season will be broken down by quarter for right-at-the-buzzer consumption, starting with a note that Atlanta won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
The Jaguars got on the scoreboard first following an exchange of punts. Jacksonville made the most of its second possession, which ended with a 30-yard touchdown strike from Trevor Lawrence to Calvin Ridley.
Lawrence narrowly evaded blitzing safety Richie Grant and was able to launch a deep shot to Ridley, who was wide open in the end zone. The eight-play, 72-yard drive was spurned by a fourth-down conversion at the Falcons' 41-yard line, with a 10-yard pass caught by Christian Kirk.
The Falcons got off to another slow start in Week 4 – that's been common over the season's first four games – with a pair of three-and-outs. They ran just six offensive plays in the first quarter and gained just five net yards.
The quarter ended with Jacksonville pushing the ball into Falcons territory on their third series.
Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence 30-yard pass to Calvin Ridley; Brandon McManus PAT … 7-0, JAX
End of first quarter: 7-0, Jaguars
The Jaguars added to their tally just two plays into the second quarter, completing a drive that ended the first. Jacksonville couldn't convert a third down, but kicker Brandon McManus made the drive worth something thanks to a 56-yard field goal that put the Jags up two scores.
The Falcons recorded their initial first down with roughly 14 minutes left in the half, on a third-down conversion picked up by Jonnu Smith, but they couldn't get another one before being forced to punt.
They were able to find a bit of offensive rhythm on their next drive, but it quickly evaporated when Desmond Ridder threw an interception to Darious Williams – the pass was intended for a well-covered Drake London – that the Jacksonville cornerback returned 61 yards for a touchdown.
The Falcons got the ball back but then gave it right back, with Ridder throwing interceptions on consecutive passes. Andre Cisco intercepted this one, setting the Jaguars up in the red zone.
(Note: Desmond Ridder threw as many picks in the first half as he had in his NFL career, which included seven previous starts.)
The Falcons defense came up huge on the next drive, keeping the Jaguars from scoring points despite starting at the Falcons' 16-yard line. The Jaguars went for it on fourth down, but their conversion attempt was foiled by David Onyemata and Grady Jarrett, who split a sack.
The Falcons couldn't get anything going in their final drive of the half, ending that drive with Bradley Pinion launching his fourth punt of the half. Jacksonville didn't move much after that, with their series (and the half) ending with a Bud Dupree sack.
Jaguars: Brandon McManus, 56-yard field goal …10-0, JAX
Jaguars: Darious Williams 61-yard interception return; Brandon McManus PAT … 17-0 JAX
End of second quarter: 17-0, Jaguars
The Falcons offense started the third quarter playing better than at any point in the first half. Those efforts were rewarded with seven points, formally earned with a 15-yard touchdown reception by London. The eight-play, 75-yard drive was sparked by Bijan Robinson's 38-yard run on the drive's second play. They converted two third downs en route to the end zone, including the touchdown strike.
(Note: That was London's second touchdown of the year. He had four as a rookie in 2022 and one in Week 2 vs. Green Bay.)
The third quarter was largely uneventful after that, with punts from both teams, though the Jaguars converted on third-and-long to end the period with possession at their 37-yard line.
Desmond Ridder 15-yard pass to Drake London; Younghoe Koo PAT … 17-7 JAX
End of third quarter: 17-7, Jaguars
The Jaguars drive that was alive to end the third quarter maintained momentum in the fourth, eventually working their way into field goal range. They couldn't convert on third-and-5 from the Falcons' 25, but McManus put three points up with a 43-yard field goal. It put the Jaguars up 13 points with 10:36 remaining.
(Note: At this point the Jaguars were just 4-for-11 on third down while dealing with a stingy Falcons defense.)
That field goal put the Falcons into must-score mode, prompting head coach Arthur Smith to go for it on fourth-and-3 from the Jaguars' 6-yard line. A generally productive drive came to an unwelcome halt, as London was unable to get two feet down in the end zone to make Ridder's pass a completion.
That left the Falcons in a difficult spot, down 13 points with 6:01 left. Jacksonville assumed possession and was able to take significant time off the clock with a sustained drive into Falcons territory that essentially eliminated the prospect of a Falcons comeback. That was further set in stone by a McManus field goal that put the Jaguars up three scores with less than two minutes. The Falcons continued to push, but they didn't have enough time or success to steal a victory after playing from behind from the first quarter on. The game was truly over when the ball was stripped from Ridder with 1:28 left and the fumble was recovered by the Jaguars.
Brandon McManus 43-yard field goal … 20-7 JAX
Brandon McManus 38-yard field goal … 23-7 JAX
End of fourth quarter: 23-7, Jaguars
Take a look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars in London during Week 4.
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