You would think that a team that finished 13-3 last year would know how to win games, but you would be wrong. While losing to a team with such a solid defense is hardly anything to be ashamed of, it is when you think about the 21 points the Falcons should have put up in the first quarter.
All three potential touchdowns were dropped by receivers and the Falcons could only muster up a whopping 10 points. This says nothing of the two deep balls Matt Ryan threw to apparently imaginary receivers on the very first possession.
Players dropping passes? Matty Ice overthrowing receivers like he did? A second ranked run defense that got gashed by the Texans’ running attack to the tune of 111 yards by Arian Foster? Yeah, that will kill any team.
This is coupled with more poor secondary play that made rookie T.J. Yates look more like Steve Young, and now has the Falcons at 7-5 and praying for some lucky breaks to make the playoffs.
However, before that can happen, head coach Mike Smith needs to look at his team. Honestly, I can’t remember a Mike Smith team look this badly when half of the team wasn’t spending more time in the trainer’s room than on the field. They looked awful in all phases of the game.
Every team can have these moments, and I’m willing to forgive if the Falcons can come out and play the level of football we’re starting to grow accustomed to around here. The part that makes it difficult to shrug this game off is that the team has been inconsistent all season long. They’ve gone from one of the league elites to a better than average team that has a shot at the playoffs.
The Texans are a good team, so don’t get me wrong. There’s no shame in losing to a good team. However, it’s also a team that was missing a lot of its best players, and they still beat Atlanta. Make no mistake folks, that score is much, much closer than it should have been.
Atlanta was dominated at every phase, and that can’t stand. This is a game that Atlanta seriously needed to win, just to show that they can beat good teams. The Falcons can’t just get up for playing New Orleans, but instead have to get up to play them all.
Hopefully, Smith can get the team back on track this week as they play Carolina. As a long-time Bulldawg fan, I would love to see the Red and Black (this time with a Falcon logo on the helmet) knock Cam Newton around a bit. They need to, because a loss at this point should signal that the team just isn’t ready to play this year.