Indepth Atlanta Falcons Recap
The mask is off my Atlanta Falcons. They were early-season pretenders who have now been exposed in three ugly losses to some unimpressive teams.
The latest bottom dweller to hand the Birds a defeat was San Francisco. They knocked off Atlanta 17-16 in Frisco with Blaine Gabbert getting the start over the dismal Colin Kaepernick.
Atlanta will not recover easily from this loss. Doubt has to be fully settled into the locker room at this point. A loss to the lowly 49ers is inexcusable.
The game was another slow start for the Falcons on offense. They failed to score a touchdown in the opening quarter once again. And field goals are not going to put you in the elite class of teams. Although against the Niners I would have guessed a couple field goals would have been plenty.
The ATL defense failed to get a sack in this game but did force two turnovers. They balanced that effort out by giving up two touchdown passes by Blaine Gabbert.
All of San Francisco’s points came in the second quarter. Garrett Celek caught the two TD passes while Phil Dawson kicked a 44 yard FG. Atlanta’s lone touchdown for the game came from Devonta Freeman on a 17-yard catch in the second quarter.
The Birds were down 17-13 at the half, and neither team added to their total in the third. Devonta Freeman was somehow held in check by the bottom ten defensive unit of the 49ers. Freeman has become the most important cog in the Atlanta offense, and SF shut him down and in effect the rhythm of the Falcons’ offense.
San Fran benefitted from a roughing the passer call that forced the benched Colin Kaepernick into action for a couple plays in the fourth quarter.
Matt Ryan led his team on a late game clock eating march that was effective right up to the point where Coach Quinn settled for a field goal with just under three minutes to go. The score was 17-16 Niners at that point, and Atlanta would not get another possession.
The 49ers ended the game in victory formation with Gabbert kneeling down to run out the clock.
Atlanta falls to 6-3 while San Francisco ups their record to 3-6. Atlanta is in deep trouble, and SF got an empty win with a guy at QB that is clearly not a long term solution.
Devonta Freeman was held to just 12 yards on 12 carries. That’s just one yard per carry for those not fluent in math. He did break his touchdown drought but was smothered by a Frisco defense that should have had all sorts of trouble containing the league’s leading rusher.
The field goal on the Falcons’ last drive was a questionable decision by Dan Quinn. His defense needed a three and out after that for the ATL to have a shot. Surely a fade to Julio Jones presented just as good odds as a three and out?
Atlanta has lost to three bad teams, all of which reside in the NFC, with two in their own division. A 0-3 start would have been better than what has transpired in the past month.
Julio Watch: Jones was targeted 17 times in this game and went over 1000 yards for the year. He grabbed ten catches but did not cross the goal line. Atlanta is ignoring Roddy White as an option and may have to rethink that going into the bye week.
White can be more effective if he gets more than a couple targets a game. With Hankerson out, there are not many other options available to spread the ball around more.
Tweets of the Game:
Why a FG coach?
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 9, 2015
A failed fourth down attempt wouldn’t have been disastrous
— Hollywood (@BiggWoodz13) November 9, 2015
N0 silver lining is this loss
Baghdad Bob may be needed to sell 2016 tix if this rut continues.
— PC (@patrick552) November 9, 2015