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Running back Bijan Robinson goes from human to superhuman in Falcons win over Texans

The rookie caught a 6-yard touchdown reception behind his back in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

ATLANTA — Bijan Robinson showed he's both human and superhuman in the Atlanta Falcons' 21-19 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The rookie running back had a fumble and a touchdown that stood out among his 14 carries for 46 yards and two receptions for 12 yards. The fumble came first, so that will be addressed first.

The Falcons began their first offensive drive in the third quarter at their own 17-yard line. There was an incomplete pass from quarterback Desmond Ridder to tight end Kyle Pitts to start. Then, on second down, Robinson took the ball for an 11-yard gain that moved the chains. Robinson grabbed the ball again, but this time, Texans defensive tackle Khalil Davis' helmet knocked it out of Robinson's grasp. Davis' teammate, defensive end Dylan Horton, recovered the fumble for the Texans.

That turnover cost the Falcons three points, as the Texans made a 42-yard field goal on the answering drive. Houston held a five-point lead at that point.

"I understand I can't ever get comfortable in situations," Robinson said of the fumble. "Dudes are always trying to knock the ball out. Dudes are always trying to get the ball no matter where it's at. I got to understand that, the awareness that I need. I'm glad that it happened because it taught me a lot."

The next time the Falcons got the ball, there was another fumble from tight end Jonnu Smith. The defense forced a Texans three-and-out, though. No harm, no foul there.


Atlanta's next offensive drive brought the game into the fourth quarter, which is when Robinson's touchdown happened. The Falcons made their way into the red zone and, ultimately, faced a second-and-6 situation at the Houston 6-yard line. Ridder tossed the ball to Robinson at the line of scrimmage, and Robinson took it to the house.

"The play he made on the shovel pass was ridiculous," Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said. "That's who Bijan is. Great players make the hard plays look easy."

What made the play so "ridiculous" was Robinson literally caught the ball with one hand behind his back, and then he proceeded to bring it around and run the six yards into the end zone.

That score put the Falcons back in the lead.

"I had to make a quick, quick decision because I felt the defender coming," Robinson said. "I should have looked the ball in, but it was just something that happened fast and something that my God-given abilities just needed to take over."

It wasn't the first time Robinson referenced his talents in a not-so-casual way, and it likely won't be the last. He know he's gifted. Others do, too.

"I tried to grab his hand so I could get some superpowers," Falcons wide receiver Drake London said. "… It just goes to show how special that kid is."

So much so, Robinson's 58 yards from scrimmage Sunday put him at 510 on the season — a franchise record when it comes to a rookie's first five career games. He surpassed Williams Andrews, who had 504 in 1979.

It was a career day for Robinson, even with the fumble.

The thing is, nobody is perfect and nobody expects Robinson to be. Can't spell superhuman without human.

"I appreciate my teammates as well because when I got to the sideline (after the fumble) and they're like, 'You're good. It's OK. Don't worry about it. Something good is going to happen,'" Robinson said. "And that's what happened: We won."

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans during Week 5.

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