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Week 5: What happened in Falcons home win over Texans

Atlanta moves to 3-2 on the season after its Week 5 game against Houston at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

ATLANTA — It must have been good to be home.

After a two-game road and losing stint, the Atlanta Falcons returned to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday for their Week 5 matchup with the Houston Texans. The Falcons defended their turf, winning 21-19 with a walk-off field goal. They are now 3-2 overall. 

Below is how every game recap this 2023 season will be broken down by quarter for right-at-the-buzzer consumption, starting with a note that Atlanta won the coin toss and opted to start with the ball.


For the fifth consecutive week, the Falcons were unable to tally more than three plays on their first offensive drive. Two runs from running back Bijan Robinson and an incomplete pass from quarterback Desmond Ridder to wide receiver Drake London left Atlanta 6 yards short of a first down. Special teams came out to punt.

The Texans offense then managed just five plays but made it far enough downfield to make a 38-yard field goal.

While the Falcons' opening attempt on offense didn't go as planned, their answer did -- and it featured a trick play. The biggest gain of Atlanta's second drive was thanks to a 22-yard pass from -- checks notes -- London to tight end Jonnu Smith. Four moves later, Ridder ran the ball into the end zone himself from 7 yards out.

(Note: That was the first time this season the Falcons have scored a touchdown in the first quarter. They also go into the second quarter with the lead for just the second time this season, the other being in the Week 2 win against the Green Bay Packers.)

Scoring plays:

Texans: Ka'imi Fairbairn 38-yard field goal … 3-0, HOU

Falcons: Desmond Ridder 7-yard run; Younghoe Koo PAT … 7-3, ATL

END Q1: 7-3, Falcons


The Texans offense maintained possession from the first and into the second quarter, and the Falcons defense was able to slow Houston's forward motion enough that it couldn't steal the lead away. Texans had to settle for a field goal, making a 43-yard attempt.

That left Atlanta with a 1-point advantage.

(Note: The Falcons had the first successful third-down conversation -- by either team -- with 5 minutes, 23 seconds left in the half. At that point, the Falcons were 1-for-5. The Texans were 0-for-5.)

Houston flipped the script right before the end of the half -- literally with six seconds remaining -- when it made another field goal, this time from 28 yards. That gave the Texans a 2-point advantage as both teams went into the locker room.

(Note: Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell was injured on a play at the 1:45 mark. He jogged off the sideline and immediately went into the sideline medical tent. He was evaluated for a potential head injury and cleared to return after the break.)

Scoring plays:

Texans: Ka'imi Fairbairn 43-yard field goal … 7-6, ATL

Texans: Ka'imi Fairbairn 28-yard field goal … 9-7, HOU

Halftime: 9-7, Texans


It was bound to happen eventually: Robinson made a mistake.

During the Falcons' first offensive drive of the second half, the rookie fumbled on a 1-yard run. The Texans recovered and took over at the Atlanta 30-yard line.

Robinson's loss cost the Falcons three points when the Texans attempted and made a 42-yard field goal.

(Note: All 12 of the Texans' points at this stage of the game were accomplished by their special teams.)

When the Falcons offense took the field again, it was a veteran who goofed. Smith caught a 10-yard pass from Ridder, but the Texans punched it out to force another fumble. They were en route to a 22-yard return when Ridder ultimately made the tackle to stop the forward progress.

The Falcons defense handled it from there, forcing the Texans to go three-and-out. No score repercussions from the second fumble.

When the clock ran out for this period, Atlanta had a decision to make: Does the offense go for it on third-and-1?

Scoring plays:

Texans: Ka'imi Fairbairn 42-yard field goal … 12-7, HOU

END Q3: 12-7, Texans


The Falcons went for it.

And they got it, via a 3-yard run from running back Tyler Allgeier.

Things got interesting then. The Falcons kept making moves, landing at the Houston 6-yard line. Ridder hit Robinson with a shovel pass from there, and some how, some way, Robinson caught it basically behind his back and held on long enough to score a touchdown.

Atlanta went for the 2-point conversion afterward, and with a pass from Ridder to Allgeier, they got that, too.

The tide turned in the Falcons' favor. Because defense came out and forced a three-and-out right afterward. Atlanta's offense was back at it again.

The Falcons rolled into Texans territory, but efforts stalled out there. Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo came out to at least add points with a 33-yard field goal.

(Note: Falcons defensive lineman Calais Campbell was injured on a play at the 5:03 mark. He was able to walk off under his own power and headed straight to the sideline medical tent. He was evaluated for a potential head injury and cleared to return.)

Atlanta held a six-point lead at the two-minute warning. The Texans, though, closed the gap and reclaimed the advantage when quarterback C.J. Stroud found tight end Dalton Schultz for a 18-yard touchdown reception.

The game came down to an Atlanta 37-yard field goal.

Koo made it. Falcons win by two points.

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Desmond Ridder 6-yard pass to Bijan Robinson; Ridder 2-point pass to Tyler Allgeier … 15-12, ATL

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 33-yard field goal … 18-12, ATL

Texans: C.J. Stroud 18-yard pass to Dalton Schultz; Ka'imi Fairbairn PAT … 19-18, HOU

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 37-yard field goal … 21-19, ATL

FINAL: 21-19, ATL

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

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