NFL

The Falcons’ Defense Blew it

Takk Mickinney Defensive End Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons’ Defense Blew it, but the Offense Isn’t Blameless.

ATLANTA – The Falcons’ defense gave up a last-second touchdown to the Cincinnati Bengals in a 37-36 loss at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

The Bengals’ final drive lasted 16 plays, spanning 75 yards. They converted on fourth down twice. The winning play was a floating pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to receiver AJ Green, who made a sliding catch in the corner of the end zone with 7 seconds left.

Despite three sacks from Takk McKinley and an interception from Demontae Kazee, the Falcons’ defense blew it.

But hey, they are a horrendous defense without Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Ricardo Allen. I know that you know that, and the Falcons know that.

Asking this defense to hold up their end of the bargain is like asking a child to keep a secret. It will not happen.

They deserve plenty of blame for the week 4 loss to the Bengals, but the offense is not totally off the hook either.

Early in the third quarter, Atlanta’s special teams unit blocked a punt and gave the offense the ball at the Cincinnati 8-yard line. The offensive line was then called for holding, gave up a tackle for loss and then a sack on third-and-goal. The Falcons were forced to kick a field goal and trailed 28-27. With a touchdown, they would have taken the lead.

Atlanta eventually took the lead and had the chance to extend it, late in the fourth quarter. They drove down to the Bengals’ 9-yard line, with less than five minutes remaining. The offensive line was then called for holding and gave up a sack. On third down, Matt Ryan overthrew an open Austin Hooper. The Falcons kicked another field goal to give themselves a 36-31 lead. With a touchdown, the Falcons lead 40-31 and put the game out of reach.

Now, I will give the offense credit for the things they did do: Over 400 passing yards, two 100-yard receivers, and nearly 100 rushing yards. But those little things they did wrong proved to be a big factor in Sunday’s loss.

Plus, the offense did these little things right in 2016. It’s the reason why Atlanta won the NFC Championship.

Blame the defense, because they deserve it. But do not think Atlanta’s offense is without fault.

PS: The Falcons should’ve signed Eric Reid.

By: David Schiele

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