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Where was Cordarrelle Patterson in 4th Quarter?

Despite being the Falcons best player through three quarters, Cordarrelle Patterson was MIA in the fourth.

Despite his three touchdown performance, running back Cordarrelle Patterson didn't touch the ball on offense in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta had a 30-22 lead and the ball with 12:42 left in the game. At that point, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had four touchdown passes, three to Patterson.

From that point, The Falcons only ran eight offensive plays before falling behind 34-30 and Patterson wasn't involved in any of them.

READ MORE: Arthur Smith in No Mood for Bright Spots

The drive at 12:42 was particularly head scratching. Atlanta had four straight runs by reserve running back Wayne Gallman, his first game active with Atlanta, an incomplete pass, and a punt.

After Washington cut the lead to 30-28, the Falcons had a chance to kill the game with 3:52 on the clock.

Instead Atlanta went three and out with two running plays to running back Mike Davis and a short pass to Davis.

74 seconds later, the Falcons are behind.

Patterson wasn't involved in either drive in the fourth quarter, and head coach Arthur Smith was asked about his notable absence. Smith reiterated that Davis got the ball late in the game because of his experience protecting the football.

“You trust him. A lot of it is about ball security. CP does a lot of things for us, and it's Mike or [Wayne] Gallman. Those are guys you trust there in four-minute."

"Again, we didn't get off the blocks, and so they back us up, and you have evaluate whether or not – and obviously hindsight is 20/20. Sure, you pick it up; screen, whatever."

"So, yeah, I'll go back and look at it. What should I have done different? It's all fair. But we trust Mike Davis. That's why he's in there. It's about ball security, making the right decisions, making the right reads.

"That one is pretty obvious."

The question might not be whether or not Davis should be in at running back in that situation, but why wasn't Patterson more involved in trying to move the ball in the fourth quarter?

He lined up at several receiver spots as well as running back, and the Falcons aren't blessed with a lot of talent at receiver right now. Atlanta's game winning drive against the New York Giants last week started with a screen pass to Patterson who was lined up at... wide receiver.

What had been obvious through three quarters was that Patterson was by far Atlanta's best offensive player.

READ MORE: Blown Chances for Atlanta vs. Washington

Ryan handled the question about the Falcons play calling late in the game as one might expect... diplomatically.

"I think we gotta make plays," said Ryan. "When your number is called, whether it be in the run or pass game, we've gotta execute. And we gotta go out there and get the job done as players. And so I think there's opportunities to do that.

"We've gotta do better as players."

"If we want to be the kind of football team we want to be and the type of offense we'd like to be, I think, you know, you get in those situations, you want to be able to move the football, burn clock and get some first downs, and in that football game we didn't do it."

"That part is disappointing and we've gotta improve there."

Improvement will include making calls and getting the ball to the best player on the field on a particular day.

That didn't happen in the fourth quarter with the Falcons and Patterson, and it may have cost Atlanta a chance to even its record at 2-2 heading into next week's game against the New York Jets.

The Falcons head to London where they will be the "home" team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London, roughly 4,200 miles away.

The Falcons offense showed a lot of improvement on Sunday against Washington, and they'll be facing a Jets team coming off of its first win.

With both teams entering the game 1-3, this game could be seen as an inflection point for both teams. A win gives the team some momentum, and a loss has them looking at a possible Top 5 NFL Draft pick in 2022.

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