The offensive stats will look good on paper. Milestones reached for Ryan, Freeman looking like his old self averaging over 5 yards per carry, Julio Jones going over 100 yards and 2 Touchdowns. But in the end Atlanta found themselves on the wrong end of another gut wrenching loss. This time on the road to the Indianapolis Colts 27-24.
What makes this loss so irritating was the bad decision making once again. Matt Ryan through another red zone interception, and the team had a staggering 16 penalties. Half of them resulted in Colts 1st downs and kept drives alive in which Indy scored.
The Falcons defense, now run by Dan Quinn came up missing in the 1st half, allowing Colts QB Jacoby Brissett to look like a Pro Bowler. He competed 16 of his 1st 16 passes as the Colts dominated the first 2 quarters and led 20-3 at the half.
Even with the lack of defense played by Atlanta in 1st half, and host of penalties they committed, the game really hinged on a two key plays.
- Ryan interception at 3 yard line with Falcons trailing 10-0: Terrible play by Ryan to force a ball into coverage to secondary receiver. This killed a promising drive that would hav resulted in at least 3 points. Indy then went down and kicked Field Goal. (Minimum 6 point swing)
- Pass interference penalty on 3rd and 9 on Colts final drive of the half. Instead of getting the ball back down 13-3, Indy continues the drive which ends in a touchdown and a 20-3 lead. A deficit too big for Atlanta to come back from
This team should be of the league’s best. Instead questions continue to swirl about this team. Injuries again strike key players on defense. Grady Jarrett has a bad toe. Keanu Neal is out with a torn Achilles. Do this team have the intestinal fortitude to what it takes to win? Or is playing ‘Fast and Furious’ and the ‘Brotherhood’ just slogans to mask inability of leadership to get the Falcons to perform on the field and win a championship.
Next week game 4 vs the Titans at home. The saga continues.