What can I say about my Atlanta Falcons?
Same old Falcons.
They were exposed.
Not ready for primetime.
What did you expect, it’s the Falcons.
I could say a lot worse, but I’m not sure how the internet authorities would handle a F-bomb laced rant that lasted for 89,000 words.
Atlanta dropped a game at home after getting some love for an impressive two-game road trip that saw them rough up Denver and get the better of Seattle even though they technically lost that one.
Everyone could see the writing on the wall as San Diego made their way to the Georgia Dome. The Chargers were not impressive. They were 2-4 after all. And the Falcons were riding pretty high, really high for this franchise.
Could this game have gone any other way? Losing in overtime to an average team was bad enough. Doing so after getting up on the Chargers by 17 points felt an awful lot like the NFC Title Game loss to the Niners three years ago.
Atlanta had a lesser team on the ropes, in their own building, and could not finish them off. Different coach, same result.
The talk of Atlanta being exposed this week is justified. But that’s not really the case. Nothing was exposed. This is the same Matt Ryan led team we Falcons fans have come to expect. Exposing something new would be Atlanta winning games they should win, and being consistent.
This act has become old hat to the ATL.
Boarding Marta after the game, most of my fellow fans were not shocked, just slightly pissed that this stuff keeps happening.
The key issues yesterday that will keep getting exploited the rest of the year are:
An unreliable defense that certainly can’t be trusted in crucial moments. Callers to local sports stations in Atlanta will no doubt crucify Ryan for the costly interception in the fourth quarter that gave the Bolts life. Dan Quinn will hear it as well for the fourth down try in overtime. But if the defense even half-heartedly does its job, 30 points should be enough to get a win, especially at home in the NFL.
The Colts, Raiders, Bengals, and Bucs all scored over 30, and none of those teams tasted defeat.
Matt Ryan holding the ball too long and taking unnecessary hits. The contrast was clear between what Philip Rivers does on each passing play and how Ryan handles getting rid of the ball. Rivers will throw check downs as soon as he sees that as the best option, which is pretty quick. Ryan refuses to take the underneath stuff and pays the price for it by continuing to accumulate hits all game long, and all season.
You want your quarterback to make plays, but not at the expense of him getting roughed up. That leads to late game mistakes like we saw on Sunday in the Dome.
This home loss will sting for a few more days. But the Falcons don’t have time to feel sorry for themselves. They have an unwelcome visitor on the way to Georgia in the form of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
While the Pack has not looked dominant, they could surely change that perception in the Falcons’ own backyard next week.
This Falcons defense can make any offense look great on any given Sunday. Sure they dominated a rookie in Denver, but that game was the outlier. This defense can’t get to the quarterback consistently.
They had Philip Rivers on the run for just a short stretch and even got a strip sack for a TD. But most of the game, Rivers went untouched.
We have a QB problem in Atlanta. It’s not Matt Ryan though. It’s the inability of our defense to disrupt the opposing QB.
Atlanta’s defense has given up the third-most touchdowns in the League, behind only Detroit and Cleveland. They are tied with San Francisco in that dubious category if that tells you anything.
Atlanta has a long way to go toward proving to their fans that this team is the truth. Judging by all the Falcons fans who left their seats to head home as overtime started, the faith level in the ATL is just as low as ever.