5 things to know after Falcons edge Redskins 27-26

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins feels fortunate that he has

two more starts to correct his mistakes.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is just happy to finally get

another win.

Making his second career start, Cousins took over for the

benched Robert Griffin III and passed for 381 yards and three


But he also accounted for three of Washington’s seven turnovers

and said he was the biggest reason the Redskins lost 27-26 to

Atlanta on Sunday.

Cousins likewise was disappointed in himself for failing to

convert a two-point conversion pass in the game’s final


”Those are four plays right there, if they go differently, it

was probably a much better result,” Cousins said. ”It’s a tough

one to swallow right now, and we’ll learn from it and get


Ryan was more efficient, completing 29 of 38 passes to overcome

an interception late in the second quarter and a fourth-and-goal

stop at the 1 when Steven Jackson got stuffed for no gain.

The Falcons (4-10) rallied two snaps later on a 2-yard run by

Jackson that made it 24-20. Cousins set up the Atlanta TD when he

was picked off by safety William Moore.

”I thought we did a great job of capitalizing on that one,”

Ryan said. ”We had a ton of chances today, offensively, to play

with a short field. We took advantage of some. We didn’t on others,

but it feels good to get the win.”

Here are five things to know after the game:

TURN IT OVER AND OVER: In extending its losing streak to six

games, Washington (3-11) wrecked its chances with seven


Alfred Morris and Santana Moss each lost two fumbles as the

Redskins matched a franchise mark with their most turnovers in a

single game since Oct. 30, 1988, against the Houston Oilers.

Despite rushing 18 times for an average of 5.4 yards per carry,

Morris lost the ball deep in Atlanta territory in the second and

fourth quarters.

And during a 5-minute span of the second, Moss muffed a punt

return at the Washington 14 before allowing cornerback Robert

McClain to knock the ball out at the Atlanta 9.

The Redskins have committed 29 turnovers this year. In 16 games

last season, they had 14.

Atlanta began the day with just 12 takeaways, third-fewest in

the league, but finished with its most in a single game since Nov.

6, 1988, against Green Bay.

SAFETIES SOLID, NOT PERFECT: Moore had five tackles, one fumble

recovery, one interception and one pass defended. Free safety Zeke

Motta, replacing injured starter Thomas DeCoud, combined for five

tackles and one pass defended.

But both blew assignments in the second quarter. Moore was out

of position when wideout Aldrick Robinson caught a 62-yard pass

against Robert Alford. Motta looked confused and couldn’t help on

Pierre Garcon’s 53-yard TD reception.

Mistakes aside, Atlanta coach Mike Smith was delighted when

Moore set up Jackson’s go-ahead TD in a sloppy three-play sequence

by each team’s offense.

”It was time for a big play,” Smith said. ”They were taking a

shot, and William was in the right place.”

SECOND-HALF BLUES: The Redskins led 20-17 at intermission, but

stumbled in the second half, either committing a turnover or going

three-and-out until their final drive.

Cousins and his receivers covered 85 yards on 10-for-13 passing

on Washington’s last possession. Moss’ 3-yard catch cut the lead to

27-26, but the conversion pass to Garcon hit the turf.

”My initial reaction is that I had both Josh Morgan open on an

off-schedule play, and if I’d set my feet, I may have been able to

drill it into Pierre,” Cousins said. ”That’s a play that I

clearly didn’t have a good enough feel for, and I need to go back

and get better at it. ”

SHINING BRIGHTLY: Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant was

beaten on Cousins’ 53-yard TD pass in the second quarter, but the

first-round draft pick redeemed himself in the fourth when he beat

Garcon to the ball at the Washington 39.

Trufant closed the game by batting down the conversion pass for

his 17th pass breakup this season.

”I was telling myself I had to make a big play after the one I

gave up,” he said. ”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


STILL THE ONE: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez joined Jerry

Rice, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss and Isaac Bruce as the only NFL

players with 15,000 yards receiving.

Gonzalez, the league’s No. 2 career-leading receiver, said last

March that he will retire when the season ends. As his latest

achievement was announced to the Georgia Dome crowd in the third

quarter, Gonzalez waved to acknowledge a standing ovation.

”Every time I get a catch now, it seems like they’re saying

something like, `That’s another milestone,’ ” he said. ”I guess

that’s what happens when you get old when you’re playing as long as

I am, but I’ll take it. It’s been such a great ride for me.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org