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'They give me all the confidence in the world to go be myself out there': Drake London on his first career touchdown, playing in his hometown

London had eight receptions for 86 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown vs. Rams

Drake London was not all smiles after the Falcons' difficult 31-27 loss to the L.A. Rams on Sunday.

There were positive moments within that game, however, that he'll never forget.

For the second week in a row, the rookie wide receiver led the Falcons receiving room with eight receptions on 86 yards.

There was also a big first. London scored his first career touchdown. The Falcons went on a five-play scoring drive when quarterback Marcus Mariota connected with London on 4-yard slant route giving Atlanta its first touchdown of the game. Mariota ran over to London telling him to keep the ball after cementing a career milestone.


"There's only so many guys that get to play this game and to catch your first one, I think it's important to have it," Mariota said after the game. "It's such a milestone, right? You work your whole life to get to this point."

It's a moment the USC product will always remember.

"It's kind of surreal first time being in this stadium and I'm playing in it, and I score," London said. "It was kind of a cool homecoming type of feeling."

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London #5 runs after catching a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sunday, September 18, 2022. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Atlanta Falcons)

The 6-foot-4 wideout was a much-needed spark for the Falcons on the offensive end after struggling through the first three quarters on Sunday. London is the first rookie receiver since Stefon Diggs in 2015 to have five-plus receptions and 70-plus yards in each of his first two career games. When asked about London's play through these first two games, Arthur Smith's response was straightforward.

"That's why we took him," Smith said. "We had a lot of conviction about the player. Again, it's not perfect and there's things we have to clean up with him. He's a big physical player and he'll continue to get better."

London's transition to the NFL looks seamless almost. As the youngest player in the receiver room, the immediate impact has shown he can emerge as WR1 for this core group. London has been competing at a high-level against Pro Bowl defensive backs in Jalen Ramsey and Marshon Lattimore through his first two games and he credits his teammates for having solid belief in his playmaking ability.

"A lot of work that goes into it, a lot of details, a lot of persistence at that," London said. "This team makes me feel comfortable out there. They give me all the confidence in the world to go be myself out there and that's why I appreciate this program and ball club."

London and the Falcons will head northwest to clash with the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, looking to bounce back from two back-to-back losses. It certainly isn't the way the Falcons wanted to start the season but there's 15 more games left to turn things around and that's the focus moving forward.

"It was fun getting my touchdown in front of my family and home crowd but at the end of the day, we lost," London said. "We're trying to win in this league and that's all that matters. We got some stuff to clean up and we're going to get to it."


The Falcons Audible presented by AT&T

Each week, host Derek Rackley and former Falcons QBs Dave Archer and DJ Shockley will talk about the Falcons, the NFC South and the biggest storylines around the NFL.

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