NEW YORK — With the New England Patriots defeating the Atlanta Falcons 28 to 20 on Thursday night, it was an exciting evening of sports for New England fans.
The Patriots and Falcons were in the first game of their two-game series on Thursday evening.
Atlanta led 13-3 at halftime but then trailed 28-27 in the third quarter.
After the game, Tom Brady said the Falcons have to be better than that.
“We just got to find a way to beat them,” Brady said.
“I know we have to, but you have to find ways to beat people.
You know, you don’t win in the second half by throwing a touchdown.
You just have to figure out ways to win the second quarter.”
The Falcons, meanwhile, were upset in their first playoff game.
The Falcons are 2-4 and 0-6 in the regular season, and they have lost three of their last four home games.
Coach Mike Smith, who is in his fourth season in Atlanta, said he was very disappointed in the game.
“I think we played well and I thought we played hard,” Smith said.
“But there was a lot of adversity and adversity in this game.
I think we’ve got to take care of that.
We’re not going to play our best.”
The Patriots had a great start to the game with a 23-0 lead after the first quarter.
The Patriots scored four touchdowns in the opening quarter to take a 20-0 halftime lead.
But the Falcons tied it at 19 midway through the second period.
The Falcons led 16-0 early in the fourth quarter and held a 13-point advantage in the final minute of the period.
Atlanta scored a touchdown on its next possession, then scored three straight points on the Patriots’ next possession.
Atlanta coach Dan Quinn was booed by the fans at halftime.
The game was decided by just a field goal with less than two minutes remaining.
The game was tied for the first time in New England history.
The only other time in the franchise’s history was in 1985 when the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos.
This is a huge night for the Falcons.
I am proud of our team,” Quinn said.
The New England defense held the Falcons to just 17 yards rushing.
The defensive unit forced four Falcons turnovers and stopped one of Atlanta’s most explosive plays.