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Alabama in the Pros

Falcons’ receiver Calvin Ridley ends Panthers’ playoff hopes with huge game

Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta traded up in the first round to get Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley fell to the franchise at the 26th overall pick from this year’s NFL Draft, but result of both is the same. 

Like his mentor, Ridley has turned in a productive rookie season for the Falcons with 789 yards receiving and nine touchdowns on 59 catches. Despite the team not making the NFC playoffs, the former University of Alabama standout made him available for Matt Ryan on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.  

RELATED: Calvin Ridley scores two touchdowns in shootout loss vs. Cincinnati

He brought in three receptions for a team-high 90 yards, including a 75-yard catch and run for a touchdown in the third quarter. Ridley gave his squad a 17-10 lead and the Falcons would ultimately improve to 6-9 with a 24-10 win over the Panthers. A former five-star from Florida, Ridley played a crucial role in ending all hopes for Carolina to make the playoffs. 

While he stands second to Jones in receiving yards for Atlanta – 1,511 yards – Ridley’s nine scoring grabs ties his for fifth in the league. He finished his career at Alabama with 19 touchdowns and is second all-time in career receptions (224) and scores (19). 

Ridley helped the Crimson Tide capture two College Football Playoff national titles in 2015 and 2017.

The savvy route runner will finish the season on the road versus Tampa Bay next week.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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