ATLANTA -- The Falcons offense needed a bit of a spark in the first half against the Washington Redskins, and Atlanta's defense provided one.
On second down, second-year defensive tackle Deadrin Senat powered his way into the backfield and knocked the ball free of Case Keenum's hand and right into the waiting arms of defensive end Takk McKinley. Without hesitation, McKinley took off towards the end zone and gained 17 yards before he was finally brought down.
McKinley's timely fumble recovery set the Falcons up at the Redskins' 33-yard line, and Atlanta consistently moved the ball from there. The Falcons ran the ball four times for 19 yards and Matt Ryan connected with Mohamed Sanu for a 14-yard gain on the drive. It was a 5-yard run from Ito Smith that gave Atlanta its first points of the game and a 7-3 lead against Washington late in the second quarter.
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