Rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant tipped away a two-point conversion pass from Kirk Cousins to Fred Davis to preserve the Falcons 27-26 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
“I was telling myself I had to make a big play after the one I gave up,” said Trufant of the game winning defensive play. “I didn’t want to end the game on that note, so I just kept fighting and did what I had to do to help get the win.”
The play by Trufant epitomized the type of game Washington was having. For each step forward the Redskins took, it seemed they needed to take at least two steps backward.
On the heels of Cousins 23 yard touchdown pass to tight end Fred Davis, Washington’s defense forced the Falcons to punt. As the day would have it, Matt Bryant’s punt caromed off the back of Santana Moss and into the arms of Falcons’ special teamer Robert McClain at the Washington 14. Atlanta capitalized on the turnover with a 20-yard field goal from Bryant.
It was the second fumble of the day but it set off a bizarre series where both teams turned the ball over on fumbles in each of the three ensuing offensive series.
The normally sure-handed Alfred Morris turned the ball over on the first drive immediately following a 62-yard pass play to Aldrick Robinson.
Next, it was the Falcons turn to play Santa Claus. Skins defensive end Ryan Kerrigan sacked Matt Ryan knocking the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. Brian Orakpo recovered the ball for Washington.
Orakpo and company sat for about 11 seconds before being recalled to the field following a fumble by Santana Moss on the first pass play.
When they weren’t turning the ball over, Washington played well with Cousins at the helm.
On the very next offensive possession, Cousins went up top again finding Pierre Garcon for a 53-yard touchdown strike. Cousins finished with 381 yards passing and 3 touchdowns to go along with 2 interceptions.
Washington went into halftime ahead 20-17 thanks to a gift turnover from Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. With less than a minute to play in the first half, Ryan was intercepted by J Gumble at the Falcons 40.
Atlanta regained the lead by converting two more Washington turnovers into points.
Cousins was intercepted by William Moore at the Washington 16 on the first play of the second series of the third quarter.
Stephen Jackson trucked a defender for a 2-yard touchdown for a 24-20 lead.
Trufant intercepted Cousins in the fourth quarter to set up Matt Bryant’s 51-yard field goal. The score gave the Falcons a 7 point margin with less than 3 and a half minutes remaining in the game.
With the game on the line, Cousins executed the offense with precision eating up the clock while continuing to move downfield. Cousins touchdown pass to Moss left 18 seconds on the clock and a big decision for head coach Mike Shanahan.
Shanahan decided to go for the win on the road. “I thought we had the right defense so we went for it, unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”