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Jessie Bates forces three turnovers in Falcons 24-10 win over Panthers

In a game where two stud rookies made their debut, a veteran safety in a new place stole the show.

In his first game as a Falcon, safety Jessie Bates had his first multi-interception game, picking off No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young twice. He also forced a fumble for good measure, giving him three takeaways as the Falcons beat the Panthers 17-10 in Week 1.

Bates’ first interception came late in the first quarter and set up No. 8 overall pick Bijan Robinson’s first career touchdown. Robinson made a slick move to get past a defender and then used his speed to get into the end zone.

Then in the third quarter, Bates picked off Young again to set up Younghoe Koo’s 49-yard field goal, tying the game 10-10.

Bates’ forced fumble also came in the third quarter and again led to a score, with running back Tyler Allgeier taking in a 3-yard TD to give Atlanta a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Desmond Ridder had an up-and-down day, but his best throw of the afternoon was a 35-yard strike to Kyle Pitts in the fourth quarter. Allgeier put in the dagger with a 3-yard touchdown with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter to put the Falcons up 24-10.

Ridder finished the game 15-of-18 passing for 115 yards with a touchdown. He was sacked four times in the contest.

Robinson and Allgeier combined to rush for 131 yards on 26 carries to pace Atlanta’s offense.

On the other side, Young finished 20-of-38 passing for 146 yards with a touchdown and two picks. He also rushed for 17 yards. Young’s first score went to tight end Hayden Hurst midway through the second quarter. Eddie Pineiro also had a 43-yard field goal early in the third quarter to cap Carolina’s scoring.

The 1-0 Falcons will host the Packers next week for another NFC opponent.

At 0-1, the Panthers will host the Saints next Monday night.