In a tale of two games, the Atlanta Falcons came out on fire Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Lions but, it seems that the idea of playing for the entire game eluded them in the second half.
In the first half, Falcons QB Matt Ryan was a near perfect 14-17 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan would finish the game 20-27 for 228 yards, two TD’s and an interception. The Falcons doomed themselves with a dropped pass, an interception and poor clock management, allowing the Falcons to take control of the ball with 1:38 remaining in the game.
A few plays later, Lions Kicker Matt Prater was sent out to kick a 43-yard field goal, which he missed. There was, however, a penalty that pushed the ball back five yards. Prater then set up and kicked a 48-yard field goal, which he made.
“I knew Prater was going to make it. I played two years with him before,” Lions cornerback Cassius Vaughn said. “When he missed the first one I was like, ‘That was just the practice swing.’ The second one was cake.”
The Falcons have little time to dwell on the situation as they must now prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, losers of their past three games.
The defense of Baltimore reared its head Sunday as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons were smothered by the Raven’s D. Ryan was sacked five times for a loss of 42 yards.
“I think they’ve got a big menu in terms of what they do defensively,” Ryan said. “I thought we were on top of schematically what they wanted to do. Our issue came down to execution. I thought they out-executed us. They played better than we did.”
The Falcons got back to work this week preparing for the Detroit Lions who are coming off a 24-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The game will take place in Wembley Stadium, in London, U.K. at 9:30 A.M. Eastern time. The game is sold out.
The Atlanta Falcons came into East Rutherford with a plan on picking up their third win and moving to 3-2 and the New York Giants nearly allowed it to happen. Going into the fourth quarter, the Falcons held a slim 20-17 lead, but the Giants scored 13 points in the 4th quarter while holding the Falcons scoreless to take the game 20-30.
While pundits are pointing at team injuries, head coach Mike Smith has a different view on the matter:
“It’s not anybody’s fault but mine,” he said. “It is my responsibility as the head coach, ultimately. And I will, and do, take responsibility for that. It is not about those players.”
The Falcons will regroup this week as they prep for the Chicago Bears who are coming off of a 24-31 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Plenty of great seats and cheap tickets are still available so be sure to get yours now and help cheer on your Atlanta Falcons.