Younghoe Koo's perfect day highlighted by 'crazy' fumble recovery

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ATLANTA -- It's not often that a kicker can be a perfect 4-for-4 on both field goals and extra points yet have another play be the main topic of discussion, but that's exactly what Younghoe Koo accomplished during the Falcons' 40-20 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.


Midway through the third quarter, Koo kicked off to Panthers returner Greg Dortch and raced down the field to cover the kick. Next thing Koo realized, the ball was in his grasp and the Falcons had possession at the Panthers' 16-yard line.

"I don't know, I just kind of blacked out," Koo said. "I was just excited, I couldn't believe it. It was the right place at the right time. I went down there and covered the kick really well, and it just happened that way – it was crazy.

"I was running and it just came straight to my stomach. I didn't have to go for it or anything, it was just really lucky."

The fumble recovery came just after Matt Ryan hit rookie Olamide Zaccheaus for a 93-yard touchdown, the longest pass of the former NFL MVP's career, and had the Falcons in good position to put the game away with a 27-10 lead in the third quarter. Although Atlanta couldn't capitalize on the fumble recovery with a touchdown, Koo jogged back out onto the field to make sure his efforts didn't go to waste by drilling a 29-yard field goal.

It was the third of Koo's four field goals in the game, and he would later bank in a 50-yarder to finish the day with a perfect mark. But Koo's perfection, while certainly noteworthy, is secondary to his effort on kickoff coverage.

"The players were definitely excited for him after they found out that he was the one that recovered it," Quinn said. "It was a good day by him; we certainly called bank on the 50-yarder. It was a good day. He's making progress and gaining it as he's going. We're going to keep pushing him to get to that spot."

After the game, an official met Koo on the field and presented him with the ball that he recovered. It will be a welcome souvenir for his trophy case, because, as Koo knows well enough, another opportunity like that one may never come along again.

"That's the first time and maybe the last time ever," Koo said.

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