The Atlanta Falcons visited the Miami Dolphins in a late afternoon game for week 3 of the 2013 regular season. Ryan Tannehil led the Dolphins down the field for a late game touchdown drive which led to a victory over Atlanta, 27-23. How did this happen? Falcons blew it. Plain and simple. Atlanta had the lead and let it slip right through their fingers (sound like a familiar situtation?).
This loss is sour. Starting from the game against Seattle in last season's divisional playoff game, Falcons games have gone in this pattern: Falcons start fast and play a solid first half. The second half starts and the opponent plays better as the Falcons play weaker. Falcons got away from Seattle and St. Louis; but couldn't sneak away with a win against San Francisco, New Orleans, and, most recently, Miami. I'm not going to completely break down each phase of the game. Today, I'm going to, flat out, tell you what happened.
There was no reason Atlanta should've lost this game. Atlanta got into the redzone and was forced to kick field goals. Give credit to the Dolphin's defense, but the Falcons are way too talented of an offense to be kept out of the endzone. On most offensive drives, Atlanta played great. They had a great balance between run and pass. The rotation of Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers in the run game was working almost perfectly and Julio Jones was a monster today. With the exception of 2 drives, the Falcons got inside the 20-yard line and the offensive production stopped. Matt Ryan's interception at the end of the game was, totally, unlike him.
Defensively, we played great, except for Thomas Decoud. The defense applied pressure to Ryan Tannehil and racked up 5 sacks. The pressure from the defensive line also led a to bad pass that, consequently, led to a William Moore interception. Decoud, on the other hand, played terrible pass coverage late in the game and had terrible pursuit angles when in it came to tackling. It's almost a complete turnaround from his performance last year.
Ultimately, special teams is a big reason the Falcons lost the game. Harry Douglas fumbled the ball on a play that should have never happened; and Matt Bryant missed a field goal that proved to be fatal.
I am very disappointed in the Falcons. We played pretty solid and still lost the game. This should be a wake-up call that we need to get better in the redzone and learn to play consistently throughout all 4 quarters.
The Falcons host the Patriots next Sunday night on NBC. The whole country will be watching; so I hope the Falcons don't embarrass themselves.