ATLANTA – Atlanta's first passing touchdown of the day didn't come from Matt Ryan.
Yes, you read that right.
On 3rd-and-1, Mohamed Sanu lined up under center and Matt Ryan shifted outside to the right. After bobbling the snap, Sanu found Julio Jones down the field 51 yards for a touchdown.
Watch it below:
The Falcons (7-4) have used the wildcat formation – a.k.a., the "12-guage" after Sanu – before with Sanu under the center but they've never scored a touchdown on one of his passes out of this formation. Sanu, however, has thrown three touchdown passes in his career. He is now the first wide receiver to throw two career 50-plus yard touchdown passes since the 1970 merger.
According to Jones, the two receivers have never practiced that play at full-speed, they've only practiced it during walk-through.
"The thing about it is we haven't actually repped that full speed, it's just one of those things. Mo [Mohamed Sanu], he's a great quarterback and has a great deep ball so he doesn't need it. We throw a lot everyday in practice, throwing the ball around so I've seen his ball numerous times. I just knew when I came and lined up I was just trying to see what the guy outside of me was going to do. He just kind of stayed there and it was just one on one with the safety. Mo didn't care and he just gave me an opportunity to go up there and make a play."
For Sanu, it was just another opportunity to make a play for his teammates. He doesn't care if he's catching the ball for a touchdown or throwing it.
"I just saw him take off and just let it go," Sanu said. "A touchdown is a touchdown, as long as we put six points on the board I'm happy."
Not only did Sanu make an impact early on throwing the touchdown pass to Jones, he made several key plays on third downs to help his offense stay on the field.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn often talks about the athleticism and versatility Sanu possess and today he was happy to see that come to life.
"He's a really good athlete," Quinn said. "He can throw it, he can punt it, he can kick it. He can damn sure catch it, but for today, I thought there were some good third down conversions by him. That connection from Mo to Julio, we were excited for that one."
Sanu and Jones combined for 317 yards of Atlanta's 516 total yards on offense.