Anatomy Of The Drives: Falcons Edition

Intro: The “Anatomy Of The Drives” series is back. Here’s a look at the three touchdown/field goal drives the Colts had in their 24-21 victory over the Falcons.

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INDIANAPOLIS

Ahmad Bradshaw's seven-yard touchdown catch from Matt HasselbeckThe scene: Down 14-0 with 8:54 to go in the second quarter, the Colts took over at the 20-yard line.The anatomy of the drive: 13 plays for 80 yards, in 6:59.Key play: Coming into this series, the Colts first four drives on Sunday started with two turnovers and a pair of failed third-and-ones (one via run, one via pass). This drive saw the Colts convert three third downs (all third-and-fives or shorter). Griff Whalen, Coby Fleener and Ahmad Bradshaw were the converters for the Colts and they allowed for this critical score late in the half.The score: Following the two-minute warning, you had the feeling the Colts needed to get seven points here. Atlanta still had all three timeouts and was receiving the ball to start the third quarter, so they had a chance for two more scores before the Colts would see the ball again. The Colts made sure they got seven. A little flip from Matt Hasselbeck to Ahmad Bradshaw sprung the veteran running back nearly untouched behind a screen and into the end zone.**

Ahmad Bradshaw's two-yard touchdown catch from Matt HasselbeckThe scene:Down 21-7 with 5:08 left in the third quarter, the Colts took over at their own 10-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:10 plays for 90 yards in 4:58Key play:A Daniel Adongo holding penalty was a 52-yard difference in the Colts starting this drive at the Atlanta 38-yard line following a 42-yard return from rookie Quan Bray. It took one play for the Colts to nearly get all of those yards back. Matt Hasselbeck's lone completion that traveled longer than nine yards on Sunday came here, with a seam route to Coby Fleener for 26 yards. The 40-year-old Hasselbeck also took a roughing the passer hit to add 15 yards onto the big completion to Fleener.The score: After the Falcons aided the Colts with two third-down penalties, the offense had a first-and-goal at the two-yard line. On first down, Matt Hasselbeck tried to thread one into Donte Moncrief, missing an open Ahmad Bradshaw in the flat. Hasselbeck wouldn't miss Bradshaw a second time. The Colts ran a play they dialed up in last Thursday's practice with Bradshaw isolated on Falcons outside linebacker Brooks Reed. A Bradshaw head fake inside froze Reed and No. 44 was back in the right flat, hauling in his ninth touchdown catch in the past two years (15 games).

Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goalThe scene:Tied at 21 with 4:54 left in the fourth quarter, the Colts took over at their own 19-yard line.The anatomy of the drive:9 plays for 56 yards, in 4:02.Key play:"The defense bailed us out," was the quote from Chuck Pagano after Sunday's win. That unit deserves plenty of credit for keeping the Colts more than in it Sunday. Here, Frank Gore's 31-yard screen play also gave the Colts a much, much needed lift. Facing a second-and-10, Gore showed off his burst after catching a screen, running through the Falcons defense for 31 yards and up to midfield.The score:** The "play to win the game" according to Matt Hasselbeck came two plays after the Gore screen. A 10-yard connection between Hasselbeck and Donte Moncrief converted a third-and-two, shortening Adam Vinatieri's field goal and forcing the Falcons to burn all three of their timeouts. Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal was his 26th career game-winning field goal and came in his 300th career NFL game.

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