While the Falcons’ offense has dominated in the early going, the defense has been clutch when called upon as well. After halting the Packers’ offense on their first drive and limiting them to a field goal attempt (that kicker Mason Crosby went on to miss), the defense came up big again as the Packers rumbled closer to the Falcons’ end zone.
The Packers had it first-and-10 at the Falcons’ 23-yard line and seemed poised to cut into Atlanta’s lead as fullback Aaron Ripkowski rumbled towards the Falcons’ goal line, shrugging off Falcons defenders in the process.
However, at the conclusion of the run, second-year cornerback Jalen Collins managed to get a hand on the football and ripped it out of Ripkowski’s grasp, forcing the fumble and then recovering it himself in the end zone for a touchback.
The fumble was the first of Ripkowski’s career
The Packers were rolling, and were almost certain to score but Collins saved the day with an impressive play when the defense needed it most.
The play was a potential 14-point swing in the Falcons’ favor as Matt Ryan led the Falcons right down the field for another touchdown on a 14-yard TD run to make it 17-0 Falcons midway through the second quarter.
It’s all Falcons early, and Collins has officially made a huge mark on this game.