ATLANTA — There's something about winning late in games that has a special appeal to Morten Andersen.
Andersen, who won two overtime games with field goals earlier this season, kicked two of his five in the final 9:42 Sunday to help the Atlanta Falcons post a 30-17 victory over New England.
The Patriots, playing without injured quarterback Drew Bledsoe, got their first touchdown pass of the season from backup Scott Zolak. Zolak also engineered the first touchdown drives for the Patriots since the season opener.
Atlanta (4-1) won its third game in a row and is off to its best start since also opening the 1986 season with a 4-1 record.
"A lot of people are saying that you're 4-1 but you haven't played anybody," said Andersen, who kicked five field goals for the fifth time in his career. "Well, we played the Patriots. Then they say you beat them without Bledsoe. Well, we beat them in the fourth quarter when it really counted."
Falcon quarterback Jeff George completed 26 of 38 passes for 295 yards.
Patriot Coach Bill Parcells was disappointed with his team's performance, especially after a bye week.
"We're just not a very good team," he said. "I don't know if we will be or not. It's apparent that we are not. We had ample time to prepare for this game. We just did not do a good job."
The Falcons took a 20-17 lead on Andersen's 32-yard field goal with 9:42 to play, capping a 77-yard drive that could have ended with a New England touchdown.
Maurice Hurst intercepted George's pass and returned it 17 yards to the end zone. But Hurst was called for pass interference on the play, bumping into intended receiver J.J. Birden.
"Something like that is a momentum builder," Hurst said. "Obviously it was taken away from us at a key point. But, hey, that one play shouldn't determine a football game. Even after that we should have found a way to win. It was an awful, awful call, and it was too tough to overcome it."
Andersen, who had field goals of 34, 54 and 31 yards in the first half, then stretched the lead to 23-17 on a 33-yarder with 4:05 to play. After the Patriots (1-3) failed on a fourth-down gamble at their 41, George connected with Eric Metcalf on a 33-yard scoring pass with 1:45 to play.