LANDOVER, Md. -- The Falcons got off to a very fast start on the road against the Redskins in the first half, building a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.
Atlanta gained 289 yards on offense in the first half and was a perfect 8-of-8 on third down. Most importantly, though, the Falcons got into the end zone three times, and each score was certainly highlight-reel material.
Tevin Coleman scored the firsts points of the game on a screen pass from Matt Ryan. With great blocking out in front of him, Coleman turned on the jets and outraced the Redskins defense 39 yards for the touchdown.
The score remained 7-0 for the remainder of the first quarter thanks to some stout play by the Falcons' defense, which limited Adrian Peterson to just 15 yards in the first half.
Washington had a bit more difficulty bottling up the Falcons' running backs, however, and rookie Ito Smith nearly matched Peterson's first-half production on his 12-yard touchdown run, alone.
A few mishaps by the Falcons' defense late in the second quarter, however, allowed the Redskins to sustain an 80-yard drive and eventually score their first points of the game, cutting Atlanta's lead to 14-7.
Just over three minutes remained on the clock after Alex Smith's touchdown pass to Josh Doctson, however, which was plenty of time for the Falcons' offense to muster an answer. And that's exactly what they did.
Atlanta slowly pushed the ball down the field, draining the clock away, before Calvin Ridley, who is anything but slow, caught a pass from Ryan and raced past every Redskins defender in the area for a 40-yard touchdown.
The long score gave the Falcons a 21-7 lead, and Atlanta will receive the second-half kickoff with an opportunity to further extend their lead on the road.