Fi­nal field goal seals fate for Fal­cons at home against San Diego in 33-30 OT loss

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The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - CHARLES ODUM

AT­LANTA (AP) — Josh Lambo said kick­ing his game-win­ning field goal — his fourth of the game — was no more dif­fi­cult than an ex­tra point.

The hard work, ac­cord­ing to the kicker, was han­dled by Den­zel Per­ry­man and San Diego’s de­fense.

Lambo’s 42-yard field goal in over­time gave San Diego its first road vic­tory of the year, as the Charg­ers ral­lied from a 17-point deficit to beat the At­lanta Fal­cons 33-30 on Sun­day.

Per­ry­man, the line­backer still ob­vi­ously affected by a

shoul­der in­jury that forced him to miss the Charg­ers’ Oct. 9 loss to Oak­land, de­liv­ered two key plays late in the game. His in­ter­cep­tion of Matt Ryan’s pass for Julio Jones set up Lambo’s ty­ing 33-yard field goal with 18 sec­onds re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion.

Per­ry­man’s fourth- and-1 stop on run­ning back Devonta Free­man gave San Diego the ball at At­lanta’s 43 for the Charg­ers’ win­ning drive.

“Credit the de­fense,” Lambo said. “Ev­ery­one on the team is mak­ing my job easy.”

Per­ry­man grabbed Free­man’s legs be­hind the line for the key tackle on the Fal­cons’ gam­ble.

“It was just in­stincts,” Per­ry­man said. “On fourth- and- 1, it was a no-brainer that they were go­ing to run the ball. ... I just got Free­man’s leg and hung on.”

Fal­cons coach Dan Quinn stood by the play call even though Free­man lost two yards on a run three plays ear­lier.

“Just a gut feel­ing I had,” Quinn said of the fourth-down de­ci­sion. “Go be ag­gres­sive and get that half yard that we needed and when we didn’t get it that was (the loss).”

The Charg­ers ( 3- 4) trailed 27-10 in the sec­ond quar­ter after the Fal­cons scored three straight touch­downs.

“There was no panic,” said Charg­ers coach Mike McCoy. “There was noth­ing. It was just, ‘Hey, you’ve got to be­lieve in what we’re do­ing.’ It’s just one play at a time.”

Melvin Gor­don ran for 68 yards and two touch­downs and added a 5-yard scor­ing catch early in the fourth quar­ter, cut­ting At­lanta’s lead to 30-27.

At­lanta’s Matt Bryant missed his at­tempt for a 58-yard field goal on the fi­nal play of reg­u­la­tion.

The Fal­cons (4-3) have lost two straight.

“It’s frus­trat­ing,” said of­fen­sive tackle Jake Matthews. “We were up big and let it get away.”

Jones had nine catches for 174 yards.

Protest: Five San Diego play­ers raised their clenched right fists as their protest dur­ing the na­tional an­them. Stand­ing to­gether on the San Diego side­line, of­fen­sive line­men D.J. Fluker, Chris Hairston and Joe Barks­dale and line­backer Joshua Perry held up their fists as they stood. Of­fen­sive tackle Tyreek Bur­well, in­ac­tive and not in uni­form, also raised his fist as part of the protest.

There were no demon­stra­tions from Fal­cons play­ers.

Long road: The Charg­ers had lost 10 of 11 road games. The stretch that be­gan with the fi­nal road game in 2014 in­cluded losses in San Diego’s first three road games this sea­son.

200 again: Ryan passed for 273 yards for his NFL-record 46th con­sec­u­tive game with more than 200 yards pass­ing. He threw a 17-yard scor­ing pass to tight end Ja­cob Tamme in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Throw­back: The Fal­cons wore black jer­seys in what they called a “mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion” of their 1966 uni­forms. Due to NFL safety rules which re­quire teams to use only one hel­met, they wore their nor­mal black hel­mets, though they switched to the orig­i­nal Fal­cons logo. They wore red hel­mets in 1966.

In­juries: Charg­ers de­fen­sive tackle Ca­raun Reid was carted off with a left knee in­jury in the first quar­ter and did not re­turn. Reid had a team­mate fall on his leg on a Fal­cons com­ple­tion to tight end Levine Toilolo.

Tevin Cole­man led At­lanta with 64 yards rush­ing, in­clud­ing a 30-yard touch­down run, be­fore leav­ing with a ham­string in­jury. Quinn said he had no im­me­di­ate up­date on the sever­ity of the in­jury.

Up next: The Charg­ers visit Den­ver next Sun­day, while the Fal­cons play an­other home game against Green Bay.

At­lanta Fal­cons run­ning back Tevin Cole­man (26) runs into the end zone for a touch­down against the Charg­ers on Oct. 23.

Danny Karnik/AP

San Diego Charg­ers kicker Josh Lambo (2) kicks the game win­ning field goal against the At­lanta Fal­cons in over­time of an NFL foot­ball game be­tween the At­lanta Fal­cons and the San Diego Charg­ers, Sun­day, Oct. 23, 2016, in At­lanta. The Charg­ers won 33-30.

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