The Falcons and Cardinals had nothing to play for today, but that didn’t stop them from putting on an exciting show. The Falcons escape the Cards in their Week 17 matchup with a 21-yard field goal as time expired, winning 20-19. This was a close game right up until the end, and both teams should be proud of their efforts.
Given the stakes of the game, Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder’s performance was a solid one, as he completed 19 out of 26 passes for 169 yards, without a touchdown or interception.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals and their new quarterback David Blough, his first win as a starter will have to wait. Despite completing 24 of 40 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown, no interceptions were thrown and two sacks were taken. Ultimately, the win went to the Atlanta Falcons as they enter week 18 with a 6-10 record while Arizona dropped to 4-12.
Both teams certainly experience growing pains this year but with such young and ambitious quarterbacks at the helm, it appears that there is hope for success in their future.
Blough’s First Game as Starter
David Blough had a day he’ll never forget – trotting onto an NFL field as the starting quarterback for the first time in three years. He was able to keep up with the Falcons and managed to put some points on the board during a thrilling showdown. However, much of the success he found was nullified late in the game when Younghoe Koo executed a chip-shot field goal for a 20-19 Falcons win.
“I’m the fourth quarterback in four weeks,” Blough answered. “I get it. It’s not an ideal situation. It’s not ideal for anybody. [Coach Kliff Kingsbury] does an unbelievable job of not flinching and helping me get up to speed and just be able to go out and operate. We came up short.”
Despite losing, it’s easy to look at this game as a symbol of hope for Blough, and though both teams were already eliminated from playoffs contention that did not strip away from his personal victory – becoming only one of 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL is no small feat.
NFL Week 18 Coming Up
The Cardinals enter week 18 with a six-game losing skid, including their latest back-to-back heartbreaks. They will try to at least end this NFL season with a win as they head to San Fransisco to visit the 49ers.
The 49ers are expected to be the heavy favorite on all sportsbooks in AZ as they have been terrific, especially during the second half of the season.
Meanwhile, the Falcons will host the Bucs who just clinched their second straight NFC South title.