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Patriots vs. Falcons: New England’s defense rolls Atlanta in 25-0 shutout

Related: Patriots vs Falcons preview: 4 matchups that could decide Thursday’s game

New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ladies and gentleman, you are witness to one hell of a stretch by the New England Patriots.

Winners of five straight, the Patriots have finally proved Matthew Judon’s point from a few weeks ago, when he said they were, “better than their record.” At 7-4, headed into a ten day layoff, you could say that he was right.

The defense absolutely throttled Atlantas offense, allowing just 165 total yards, while forcing four turnovers and extending their scoreless drive streak to 19 over a two game streak where they’ve scored the same amount of points as their opponent..

The offense, playing their least efficient game in over a month, managed to overcome an inability to sustain long drives by riding the tails of Nick Folk who went 4/4 and scored 12 points on his own.

Before you enjoy your ten days off Patriots fans, find all of the information you need from tonight’s game below!

Final Score: Patriots (7-4) 25 : 0 Falcons (4-6)

November 18, 8:20p.m. ET | Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA | Broadcast information

Pregame

Inactives

Patriots Inactives: QB Jarrett Stidham, RB JJ Taylor, TE Devin Asiasi, OLB Ronnie Perkins, OL Yasir Durant

Falcons Inactives: WR Christian Blake, CB Kendall Sheffield, S Jaylinn Hawkins, DL John Cominsky, DL Marlon Davidson, DL Tyeler Davison, RB Cordarrelle Patterson

The Patriots will have a different looking roster than the one they sported four days ago against the Cleveland Browns.

Tight end Jonnu Smith, running back Damien Harris, and return specialist Gunner Olszewski will all return to the lineup after being first time inactives last week. Linebacker Chase Winovich will also return following an IR stint that knocked him out of the last five games. Rookie corner back Shaun Wade will make his NFL debut after being inactive in each of the first 10 weeks of the season.

Atlanta will be without some major contributors, as running back Cordarrelle Patterson, defensive lineman Tyeler Davidson, and safety Jaylinn Hawkins will all be inactive. Each of those three players has played over 40% of possible snaps for the Falcons this season.

Coin Toss

It’s an away game for the Patriots, so you know what that means, Matthew Slater called the coin toss and he called heads. Luck wasn’t on his side, as the coin landed on tails and Atlanta deferred their choice to the second half. Mac Jones and the Patriots offense will start with the ball.

First Quarter

The Patriots day started on offense, where they took over at their own 25-yard line following a Younghoe Koo touchback. Mac Jones hit Jakobi Meyers on an out route to pick up a few yards, before a short Damien Harris run set them up with an early third down. On 3rd-and-4, Jones looked for tight end Hunter Henry but they were unable to connect as Falcons safety Eric Harris wrapped Henry’s arms up, good enough for a pass interference call and New England first down. Another short run by Harris forced New England to go to the air, where Jones hit N’Keal Harry for six yards to set up another 3rd-and-4. The Patriots tried to convert on a sweep by Brandon Bolden that only went for one yard. Atlanta’s defense forced a Jake Bailey punt that rolled out of bounds at the Falcons’ 4-yard line.

Atlanta took over pinned back deep inside their own territory. They ran the ball on first down, but only gained one yard, forcing them to attack through the air. Immediately they got hit with an illegal formation penalty that backed them up even further. On 2nd-and-12 from their 2-yard line, they went back to the ground and didn’t have much more success, only picking up three yards. Third-and-long allowed the Patriots to pin their ears back and force a throw that Kyle Dugger knocked away to force a punt.

Cody Davis was called for a hold on the punt that backed New England up to their own 34-yard line. They went back to the air with Jones hitting Jonnu Smith for a gain of 17 that pushed them across midfield. On the next play, Rhamondre Stevenson took an outside handoff for 21 yards inside the Atlanta 30-yard line. A short Stevenson run and swing pass to Kendrick Bourne set New England up with a 3rd-and-1 scenario from the Atlanta 19-yard line. Jones took it himself for two yards and a first down. A pair of short runs forced the Patriots into yet another third down, this time with eight yards to move the sticks. Jones took a shot to Henry in the end zone but some miscommunication led to an overthrow and eventual field goal attempt from Nick Folk. The 15-year veteran hit from 32 yards out to give New England the lead. [Patriots 3 : 0 Falcons]

A holding penalty on the Atlanta kick return pushed the Falcons back to their own 10-yard line. Matt Ryan hit Mike Davis out of the backfield for six yards on play number one, but the Falcons lost three on the next play with Matthew Judon blowing up a Wayne Gallman run. On third-and-long Ryan stood in and hit Russell Gage for 12 yards and a first down, taking a big hit in the process. Three straight pass plays only netted Atlanta one yard, forcing them to punt for the second straight possession. A 50-yard punt by veteran Dustin Colquitt forced the returning Gunner Olszewski to call for a fair catch.

New England opened up with another pass to N’Keal Harry, who gained nine yards before Damien Harris could move the chains with a 14 yard run straight up the gut. Harris picked up 18 more on his next carry, crossing mid field and ending up at the Atlanta 36-yard line. A defensive holding call on former Patriot Mike Pennel gifted New England yet another first down that led to the end of the quarter.

Second Quarter

The Patriots continued to feed Harris, this time through the air as he picked up eight yards on first down. He picked up yet another first down as they let him take in on the ground for a couple of yards that pushed him into the red zone. One play later, Jones hit Nelson Agholor on a short crosser that was ran into the end zone from 19 yards out. [Patriots 10 : 0 Falcons]

Atlanta took over at the 21-yard line, forced to attack through the air while down by 10. Matt Ryan hit Russell Gage a couple of times before Kyle Van Noy took Ryan down in the backfield and forced Atlanta to contend with a 3rd-and-6 of their own. Ryan stood in and hit Olamide Zaccheaus for the first down. Sitting around midfield, the Patriots defense started to attack, leading to a pair of non gainers from the Falcons. On 3rd-and-10 from his own 46-yard line, Ryan hit Zaccheaus for 9-yards, leading to a 4th-and-1 attempt. Qadree Ollison took a handoff for 10 yards, leading to another pair of carries that totaled 14 yards to reach the red zone. On 3rd-and-1, Kyle Van Noy picked up his second sack on the drive and forced the Falcons to kick a field goal on what was a 4th-and-14.

Former Patriots Younghoe Koo hit from 45-yards out, but Atlanta was called for their second illegal formation penalty of the night. Koo came back on, this time looking to hit from 50. He could not, pulling the kick just left and taking three points off the board.

Mac Jones made a rare rookie blunder, taking a 14 yard sack on the start of New England’s ensuing drive. The Patriots tried to get the yardage back with a screen to Kendrick Bourne for 12 yards. On 3rd-and-12, the Patriots ran a running back screen that the Falcons were ready for, forcing a Jake Bailey punt.

Atlanta, starting out at their 14-yard line, ran two plays that netted them a total of one yard. Their latest 3rd down attempt would be dead on arrival, as Matt Judon blew past right tackle the Falcons right tackle and sacked Matt Ryan. Following the 2:00 warning, Atlanta would punt.

Another special teams penalty lost New England ten yards, forcing them to start the next drive from their 32-yard line. In hurry up, Jones hit Bolden and Bourne to push themselves up toward midfield before calling their second timeout. Back to the air, Jones hit Meyers to advance to Atlanta’s 36-yard line, then Agholor to get to the 30. On 2nd-and-4, Jones was sacked for a loss of seven, setting them up with a 3rd-and-11. Jones went back to Meyers who gained 10 yards, forcing New England to run out some clock and kick a field goal. Nick Folk was good from 44 ending the half. [Patriots 13 : 0 Falcons]

Third Quarter

Atlanta opened the second half with the ball at their own 17-yard line. They started with an incomplete pass, before their sixth penalty of the day —a false start— pushed them backwards. On 2nd-and-15, Jalen Mills was called for pass interference, helping Atlanta move the ball forward instead of backwards. Before the next play, another false start call backed Atlanta up five more yards. Two more plays that netted Atlanta zero total yards set up a 3rd-and-15. A short crosser could only gain so many yards, as Ja’Whaun Bentley and Dont’a Hightower rallied to tackle Mike Davis short of the chains and force a punt that Gunner Olszewski would return 17 yards to his own 27-yard line.

From there, Damien Harris gained five on the ground before a holding call on Jonnu Smith pulled the Patriots back ten yards. To the air, Jones hit Henry for nine yards, before missing the outstretched arms of Jakobi Meyers and ultimately punting the ball away.

A booming Jake Bailey punt went for 60-yards, allowing Atlanta to take over from their own 19-yard line. Atlanta continued to struggle moving the ball, with Qadree Ollison gaining two on the ground and zero through the air before Ryan missed two different receivers on third down. Another punt for Atlanta, this one for 62 yards that pins New England inside their own 20.

With time on their side, the Patriots kept things on the ground early in their next drive. Stevenson took three straight touches for 13, -1, and six yards respectively. On 3rd-and-5, Jones hit Meyers for the first down, before they went back to Stevenson for seven and -2 yards back-to-back. On another 3rd-and-5, Jones hit another one of his safety blankets, this time it was Hunter Henry on a beautiful 15 yard pass. Next play, not so beautiful, as A.J. Terrell jumped in front of Jonnu Smith to intercept a Mac Jones floater and return it back to the Atlanta 48-yard line.

Ryan’s first attempt of the ensuing drive went for six yards to rookie stud Kyle Pitts. On the next play they picked up the first down on an outbreaking route by Zaccheaus. A five yard run and 11 yard catch and run by Keith Smith pushed the Falcons over 100 yards on the night, and over to New England’s 25-yard line. They kept it on the ground with a five yard run by Ollison, before picking up four more through the air to Tajae Sharpe. On 3rd-and-1, New England stuffed fullback Keith Smith to force a 4th-and-1. Down 13, Atlanta went for it and couldn’t convert as Adrian Phillips made the play off the edge. New England takes over on downs.

After the defense made a play to get them the ball back, New England’s offense was unable to find their way to a first down, gaining just eight yards on three plays to close out the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

New England punted it away to open the fourth quarter, with Avery Williams calling for the fair catch at his own 29-yard line. One play later, Atlanta was working from their own 22-yard line following a Davon Godchaux sack of Matt Ryan. Russell Gage got those yards back, and then some, picking up 19 yards and a first down. Two plays later they picked up 16 more with Ryan hitting Pitts. With everything working for Atlanta, pressure and miscommunication led to a Devin McCourty interception of Ryan. New England would take back over with a chance to close the game out.

Back to the ground New England went, with Rhamondre Stevenson picking up 12 yards before the Patriots got another chunk off of a pass interference penalty drawn by Jakobi Meyers. A holding penalty on David Andrews pushed them back ten yards before Kendrick Bourne, Mac Jones, and Damien Harris pushed them to the Atlanta 25-yard line and gave the Patriots a fresh set of chains. From there, the Patriots found themselves in a 3rd-and-long scenario, where Jones would take yet another sack. That pushed the Patriots back to their own 40, where Nick Folk would hit a 53-yard field goal to extend their lead to 16. [Patriots 16 : 0 Falcons]

Down 16, the Falcons came back on offense firing. After two plays of positive yards, who else but J.C. Jackson caught a deflection and got his feet in to turn the ball back over. A performance to remember by the Patriots defense.

The Patriots gained five yards on a pair of Rhamondre Stevenson rushes to begin their ensuing possession. Facing a 3rd-and-5, they went back to the air where Jones would hit Nelson Agholor for 10 yards and a first down. Looking to burn the remaining 4:17 left on the clock, they returned to Rhamondre Stevenson on the ground for a gain of six before Atlanta gave them another first down by penalty, with 12-men in the formation. Back to the ground, Stevenson picked up two yards, Bourne picked up seven more, and Jones got stuffed on 3rd-and-1 to bring up a 4th-and-1 with 2:00 remaining. Nick Folk came out to try for his fourth field goal of the night, hitting from 33 yards out. [Patriots 19 : 0 Falcons]

Josh Rosen came on for the Falcons in a waiving of the white flag. He immediately threw a pick-6 to Kyle Van Noy. [Patriots 25 : 0 Falcons]

Back onto the field, the Falcons turned to their third string quarterback Feleipe Franks. He also threw an interception. New England’s offense came out and put an end to the laugher in Atlanta, kneeling out the remaining clock. [FINAL - Patriots 25 : 0 Falcons]

Updates coming soon!