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Week 6: What happened in Falcons home loss to Commanders

The Falcons move to 3-3 on the season after their Week 6 game against the Commanders. 

ATLANTA — A failed 2-point conversion and two ill-timed interceptions in the fourth quarter sealed the Atlanta Falcons' fate in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Washington Commanders at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

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 deferred to the second half. Commanders began competition with the ball.


For the first time this season, the Falcons offense showed up and showed out on its opening drive. Its series began on its own 25-yard line and, four plays later, it broke into enemy territory -- a first for the season. Then Atlanta used four more plays to get into Washington's red zone. The Falcons ultimately scored when quarterback Desmond Ridder found tight end Kyle Pitts in the end zone and delivered a 9-yard completion.

It was the first touchdown Sunday, but the Commanders already had points on the board from a 37-yard field goal on their own opening drive.

Still, that Ridder-Pitts touchdown put the Falcons ahead early -- and it's a lead they kept entering the second quarter.

Scoring plays:

Commanders: Joey Slye 37-yard field goal … 3-0, WAS

Falcons: Desmond Ridder 9-yard pass to Kyle Pitts; Younghoe Koo PAT … 7-3, ATL

End Q1: Falcons 7, Commanders 3


And it's a lead the Falcons lost quickly in the second quarter.

Atlanta went three-and-out to start and, when it punted, Washington returner Jamison Crowder took it 61 yards to the Falcons' 11-yard line. The Commanders were able to cash in on a 1-yard pass from quarterback Sam Howell to running back Antonio Gibson, reclaiming the lead.

The difference between the next two drives was fourth-down outcomes. The Falcons tried to convert on fourth-and-3 but failed, and then the Commanders tried to convert on fourth-and-1 and succeeded. Washington then scored again with a 7-yard pass from Howell to wide receiver Curtis Samuel.

The most Atlanta could do to answer was a 47-yard field goal by Younghoe Koo within the 2-minute warning.

(NOTE: With his individual takedown of Howell at the 1:08 mark, Falcons defensive lineman Calais Campbell now has 100 career sacks.)

Scoring plays:

Commanders: Sam Howell 1-yard pass to Antonio Gibson; Joey Slye PAT … 10-7, WAS

Commanders: Sam Howell 7-yard pass to Curtis Samuel; Joey Slye PAT … 17-7, WAS

Falcons: Younghoe Koo 47-yard field goal … 17-10, WAS

Halftime: Commanders 17, Falcons 10


The Falcons' second-half opening drive offensively went basically the opposite of its first. Ridder was intercepted by Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller, who returned the pick 23 yards. Washington then used two plays to score. Running back Brian Robinson Jr. did the trick with a 24-yard run.

The rest of the third remained scoreless, but the Falcons were knocking on the door as time expired for the quarter.

Atlanta was in the midst of a rather long offensive drive, tallying eight plays and going from its own 19-yard line to Washington's 17-yard line. Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier had just taken back-to-back carries for a combined nine yards. The Falcons will face a third-and-1 situation when they line back up.

Scoring plays:

Commanders: Brian Robinson Jr. 24-yard run; Joey Slye PAT … 24-10, WAS

End Q3: Commanders 24, Falcons 10


Atlanta did not convert on third down.

It did convert on fourth down, though, via a 7-yard pass form Ridder to wide receiver Mack Hollins. And that led to a 2-yard touchdown reception by tight end Jonnu Smith two plays later. The Falcons opted to attempt a 2-point conversion afterward, but a run by Allgeier was stopped short.

Atlanta's defense did its job, getting Washington off the field within four plays, and the offense appeared to be doing the same. Until the Falcons got into the red zone. They made it all the way to the Commanders' 2-yard line when a delay-of-game call backed them up to the 7. Ridder then tried to throw the ball to London in the end zone but was instead intercepted by Washington cornerback Benjamin St. Juste.

Again, defense got on and off the field, this time with a three-and-out. Meanwhile, the offense turned it over on downs.

Defense gave the offense yet another chance. Ridder threw his second interception -- Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis picked this one off -- to solidify the Commanders' victory.

Scoring plays:

Falcons: Desmond Ridder pass 2 to Jonnu Smith … 24-16, WAS

Final:Commanders 24, Falcons 16

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Washington Commanders during Week 6.

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