After Damien Williams went down with a rib injury following the first play of the Falcons’ second drive, Patterson took over––and he didn’t disappoint.
In the second quarter, Patterson ran all of the Saints and capped it off with a five-yard rushing touchdown, marking the Falcons’ first one of the 2022 season.
Though the Falcons lost 27-26, Patterson was a brighter light, leading the backfield with 22 carries for 120 yards and a score.
It’s also notable to mention that the Saints’ defense had not allowed 100 rushing yards in 20-straight games until Sunday.
Falcons Fans React to Cordarelle Patterson’s Performance
After practically carrying the Falcons on his back last season, logging a career-high of 607 rushing yards, 547 receptions, the Falcons re-signed Patterson to a one-year deal.
While fans were stoked, there was some uncertainty that the 31-year-old back might not be able to duplicate those kinds of numbers this fall.
That was put to sleep today as fans were ecstatic to see Patterson back in action and looking like the same guy last year.
Fans chimed in via Twitter to show CP a lot of love:
Some fans also joked about how he may be carrying the Falcons on his back unexpectedly again this season:
The Falcons stacked their running back and wide receiver room this offseason with hopes of giving Patterson a break, but it looks like he could be in for another big role in 2022 if guys can’t stay healthy.
One Loss Isn’t Phasing Arthur Smith
The Falcons have not won a season opener since 2017, which is also the last time Atlanta made a postseason appearance.
And heading into this season the expectations were very, very low for Atlanta. But chalking up one loss so far isn’t phasing head coach Arthur Smith.
“You guys wrote our obituary back in May,” Smith said after the game. “You’ll continue to write our obituary. Who cares? We have 16 games and if we don’t learn from this and get better — We gotta go play L.A. They got a three-day jump on us. We’ll watch the tape, we’ll look for corrections and then we have to get going on the Rams. . . . Write whatever y’all want. Same guys that ranked us 45th. You buried us in May, bury us again. We don’t care. We’ll get back to work.”
The Falcons held a 16-point lead over the Saints early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game before things went sideways.
It’s easy to harp on the negatives and overlook the positives like Marcus Mariota, who didn’t toss an interception all game and showed off his dual-threat ability, racking up 72 rushing yards and score. Or rookie wide receiver Drake London, who tallied five catches for 74 yards in his first real NFL debut and of course Patterson’s near-perfect first outing of the season.
Yes, Atlanta has a lot to fix. However, the potential is there and it’s clear that Smith believes in this group.
Now, the Falcons will turn their attention to the Rams, who were crushed 31-10 by the Bills during Week 1’s Thursday night game.