Owing to their bad defense, the Falcons suffer a bad loss

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, left, walks off the field as the San Diego Chargers mob kicker Josh Lambo as his sudden death field goal defeats the Falcons 33-30 in an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta-Journal Constitution via AP)

Ouch, babe. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

What happened in Seattle was as close as the NFL gets to a good loss. What happened Sunday in the Dome was an out-and-out bad loss. Favored for the first time since Sept. 11, the Atlanta Falcons blew a 17-point lead and lost to a 2-4 opponent in overtime. The team that entered the game with an 83.1 percent chance of making the playoffs according to Football Outsiders saw its lead in the NFC South pared to a half-game.

Again we note: Having a bad defense is the football equivalent of forever awaiting the dropping of the other shoe. Here were the Chargers’ possessions Sunday after the Falcons seized a 27-10 lead: Touchdown, punt, field goal, touchdown, field goal, field goal. Six series, five scores. The Falcons  punted only twice all game, but having a bad defense means any wobble can assume massive importance. The Falcons’ wobbles — they didn’t score a touchdown in the second half or OT; Matt Ryan threw a fourth-quarter interception  — became a very big deal.

Dan Quinn was right to go for it on fourth-and-1 in overtime because a team with the NFL’s best offense is a better bet to gain a yard than a team with a crummy defense– in this case, Quinn’s is the same team — is to stop a hot opponent from kicking a measly field goal. You can say, “The Falcons should have run a better play,” and you’d be right, but no play looks good when it doesn’t work. So you’re basically saying, “They should have run a play that worked.” No duh.

(Oh, and here, written for ESPN, is stat man Brian Burke’s defense, so to speak, of Quinn’s decision on this given Sunday. And here was Burke’s criticism of Quinn’s choice to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal against the 49ers last year.)

In seven games, Falcons opponents have scored 26 or more points six times. The exception came in Denver, when the Broncos were forced to use a rookie backup at quarterback. Only three NFL teams have yielded 200 or more points, and all three — Colts, Browns and 49ers — have losing records. The Falcons have yielded 199. They’re 4-3 because their offense, as good as it is, can’t always outscore their defense.

For all who are saying, “They’ll have no chance against Aaron Rodgers this Sunday,” be advised that the Packers’ offense ranks 21st in total yardage and Rodgers is 20th in passer rating. At least on offense, Green Bay hasn’t been itself this year. Alas, the Falcons’ defense has. Another intriguing Sunday awaits.

Reader Comments 0

49 comments
sacks
sacks

Let's all agree..as long as they play this stinking defense.. and H.C. refusing to give back up QB his shot at glory..They will always S.U.C.K.!!  A REAL H.C. will not come here to coach..hence we are stuck with the wannabe's!!  Too many H.C. assistant H.C. Too many G.M.'s And assistant G.M.'s.....I don't think you will find another team in the league that has the A.F. mentality in the front office or the coaching ranks..And we are lead to believe D.Q. has the final say on players??????????? C'mon Arthur..Your S... is broken!!

This ant Home Depot!!!!!!!!!


Jmonty
Jmonty

We agree.  Bad defense.  Bad coaching..  Now will the Falcons do something about it?  That's the question.

GT71
GT71

When you can't stop them, you lose.  End of story.  Anything else is MB/AJC blather to get a few more slow-loading ads onto the screen....eventually.

BeullaBallbricker
BeullaBallbricker

Interception, overthrown pass when needed. Defense letting Rivers pick them apart (he looked like Brees against us)... it was a multitude of things. Let's just get better. We are not there yet. Looking at the schedule 8-8 will be a good bet. Tampa getting hotter each week.

Baloo111
Baloo111

Let one get away. Have to finish game.  Problem with Quinn is not some decisions but saying he would not change them if giving the same situation.  Going for it on 4th down I can see. But to say you would run your small back in a crowded line again is just plain stupid. This team can be good but needs to learn from mistakes. Where is the defense genius we were suppose to have as our coach.  Quinn needs to learn and do better. Most people would have  taken 4-3 at this  point. But we can and should be better. 


JDJacket
JDJacket

May I remind you that the last two losses were directly related to Matt Ryan INT's .... love Matty Ice, but you can't throw INT's that late in a game and games that close.. Maybe play calling????

candlin14
candlin14

You have got to be kidding me. The INT in Seattle was completely catchable. The INT yesterday shouldn't have even happened or been in that situation. Even after the INT defense had multiple chances to make a stop. Go back and watch the games my friend.

Contractor1
Contractor1

Love your wisdom candlin14. Clearly you have no clue what you're trying to say as you're on both sides of the fence. The interception was a bad one, but oh yeah, the defense had a chance to stop them. Throw away Ryan's yards and touchdowns as he continues to turn the ball over at big moments. It's an alarming stat. Three and outs and turnovers wear your defense out. Someone must have played soccer, not football.

MadGuitarist
MadGuitarist

I thought the offense deserved just as much blame here. The defense earned 10 of the 30 points. Red zone trips have to be converted and no excuse for 7 (or close to) false starts at home. Defense lost intensity coming out the second half, but the offense wasn't doing them any favors either.

Both sides left plays on the field that could of decided the game

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

Given the inability to adjust and stop the pass underneath, Quinn was absolutely right to go for it. You can question play call but if a team can't pick up a yard in two tries they don't deserve to win. In my book the game was lost when they were driving with just a few minutes left and the lead. First down in chargers territory. They were burning clock and looking at a field goal if they would even need that. Not one but two consecutive offsides caused first and twenty. Instead of running and burning clock the next play was a pass which was intercepted. Two consecutive offsides in that scenario at home in undisciplined and unforgivable. Even had Bryant made kick at end of regulation this teams problem became evident. You could call Seattle a good loss if there is such a thing and this a bad loss. If Bryant makes the kick it would have been a bad win. That game was brutal to watch live. One last thing. All their handwringing about stands being empty at kick off; the handling of traffic in downtown is atrocious pregame and the dome staff cannot efficiently get people into stadium. I have been to NFL games in other cities. Not only can they get cars parked but they can move a crowd into stadium. This will be no better by building next door. Until this gets figured out the stadium will remain empty until second quarter.

candlin14
candlin14

For a Defensive Coordinator now head coach unable to make an adjustment to these same plays ran by Rivers the entire game is extremely worrisome. Quinn is not a good Head Coach.

UGAFan13
UGAFan13

Offense folded in 2nd half.  Needed sustained drives to keep the D off the field.  Also way too many penalties!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Jesus......you fans suck.

candlin14
candlin14

A lot of bandwagon fans in the ATL get use to it. Kind of sad

Contractor1
Contractor1

And ones that have no clue what they're talking about. Looking right at you candlin14.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I thought our rookies looked promising on defense........and once again I guess since teams can't cover Julio the refs are going to allow defenses to tie one arm behind his back ?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket That just proves you didn't watch the game very closely.  Try listening to what others are saying about the loss.  Our rookie linebackers were confused most of the day - that would be why those 500 crossing patterns that the Chargers ran all day long were open every single time.  Our def. rookies did not know where to cover.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket Yes Doctor Evil, the NFL has a massive conspiracy against the Falcons.  No one knows why they have singled out the Falcons, but it is clear that all of the ref's in the NFL got together in the off season and devised this evil plan against the Falcons to never call PI on Jones. 

candlin14
candlin14

Campbell played awful. We are winless with Campbell on the field.

SaulK
SaulK

In the offseason, Arthur and Thomas need to make some free agent moves and get some top draft picks so the defense doesn't suck again.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MoCool

Arthur needs to make the first move by getting rid of Thomas!

Falcaints
Falcaints

The offense is okay, but the defense is a major liability.  This team has no chance to be anything other than average.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Their above"average" right now.

Happy_Smith
Happy_Smith

Hey...  Since we don't have an NFL Size Pound & Ground Back and since DiMarco is invisible to Shanny... Do you reckon Peria Jerry may come out of retirement to be our 4th down back?


Da Bears were smart enough to use Refridge Perry that way!

TOJacket
TOJacket

The Fridge could dunk a Basketball at Clemson....Peria couldn't tote his lunch box.

DNorth
DNorth

Sigh ... back to earth we come.  Hello, 7-9.


DawgDadII
DawgDadII

As I noted on the other blog, the Falcons are NOT a "smash-mouth" offense, they are a pass-first finesse offense. On fourth-and-one they needed to run a play with options, or punt. Sadly, they did neither. And yes, going for it with ANY play call was a supreme risk and open acknowledgement of a lack of confidence in/respect for the defense.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DawgDadII: ". . . a lack of confidence in/respect for the defense."

__________

Pretty hard to legitimately blame them for that.

candlin14
candlin14

I am amazed that Rivers dropped back to pass 44 times and there was not one holding call the entire game. We once again were out penalized 9 times for 70 yards while San Diego was penalized 3 times for 14 yards. Two of the penalties was false starts and one was a Pass Interference early in the game against Julio. They didn't call any more after that. They basically said we will give them one PI call to make up for last week and it will be on a 4 yard crossing route.

San Diego ran a tota of 75 plays against our 63 but we were penalized 6 more times then they were. NFL hates the ATL and they prove it every week.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Well Wally.....did the refs cost us last weeks game? Yes or No skippy.

candlin14
candlin14

No blaming. Just a question/concern.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket  So when dawgs complain about ref's, you say excuses, excuses, but when it involves the Falcons, you are all into conspiracy theories.  Get a grip on reality please.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally

Pretty soon he'll back on here to call us "immature" again.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Ugaboss
Ugaboss

Here we go again. Same ole Falcons.

LarvellBlanks
LarvellBlanks

When everyone knows you're QB sneaking, it's best not to do a QB sneak.  And lining up in a tightly-packed "we're going to run up the middle" formation, and then doing a deep handoff for a run up the middle, is probably the best way to increase the odds of being tackled for a loss. 

python's monty
python's monty

Bad play call on the interception.  Bad play calling and lack of no huddle in the second half.


Terrible play call on third down in overtime (quarterback sneak).  You have to punt in that situation regardless of your "gut" feeling.  Play the odds and give your defense a chance.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@jimstas: "Terrible play call on third down in overtime (quarterback sneak).  You have to punt in that situation . . . ."

________________

Punt on third down?

Don't think so.

Better lay off the sauce.

python's monty
python's monty

@DawgNole @jimstas Okay, I was not clear - the quarterback sneak on third down was terrible.  Then, on fourth down you have to punt.

Now, back to drinking....