Even though I feel devastated from the loss, this could be good for the long haul. It was great to see the Falcons not lay down and actually put up a fight in the end. Ryan was a little off shockingly and that may have cost the Falcons, but the loss solely blames on the defense and Toliolo for dropping that perfectly thrown ball in the end zone. If Toliolo makes that catch, the Falcons go to overtime rather than having to go for it on fourth down.
Obviously the red zone issues are still there. I have absolutely no idea why Koetter would try a screen pass near the goal line. How would that be effective? Then he designs plays, where Ryan has to drop back rather than make the quick release near the goal line. Obviously Ryan made an uncharacteristic mistake by missing Roddy on that fourth down. Still it was the right decision there because the Falcons clearly wanted to break their rough stretch in the red zone. Not sure why some people were so critical about the run game. I felt Quizz looked good for the most part and Snelling had his moments. They simply had to abandon it, although they really need to start running it when they reach the ten yard line. Three straight throws is pretty ridiculous.
The defense was mostly horrific creating no turnovers and little pressure. Patriots o-line is among the best in the league, but wow not even much production from the blitzing. Babineaux and Massaqoui were the only two defensive players that I can say had good games. Trufant got worked for the most of the night looking like Chris Houston 2.0 at times. Once again, McClain allowed a big play on third down. I'm not sure what has happened to him, but he's been torched for the fourth straight game now. Moore was either a step late or didn't judge the ball properly. How Thompkins caught that ball over him was inexcusable.
Still don't want to push that panic button yet. I've realized how beat up this team is. The linebackers stink and the corners don't have much of a chance when the pass rush isn't getting there. At the end of the day, the Falcons need to bring another pass rusher just to add some depth and spark. They can't rely on an inconsistent Osi, a second year player finally starting to play more, and two rookies at d-end. Hopefully they can address that either this week or during the bye week.
Jets, Bucs, Cardinals, and Panthers. They need to win all four of those games right there. That'll get them right back on track at 5-3 before the showdown against Seattle (thank god that game is at home). If they lose any of those games, then their playoff chances might be on life support. They are going to lose either to San Fran and/or Green Bay. No way they win both games on the road. Hopefully this is the year a 9-7 team can sneak into the playoffs. The NFC has been much better over the past few years.
I'm STILL not panicking just yet. This team is beaten up, what did you expect? Don't know how anyone can blame Ryan, despite missing some throws. Gonzalez looked like the Tony of old and even Roddy looked healthier. I was shocked they even threw a deep pass to him that drew a flag on Talib. As for the potential call for holding, the refs may have missed that one. I'll always defend the corner because they favor the offense way too much when it comes to penalties. Talib had a fantastic game, but he got away with one. Let's hope Samuel plays next week because that secondary needs him.
Have faith Falcon fans, none of these losses have been one-sided. That was the tough part to the schedule shockingly enough. Now they'll get some cupcake games to feast on. Carolina will be challenging as usual, but no excuses in the next three. Tampa is in disarray, Arizona can't move offensively, and the Jets will you know the rest.
R.I.P 2013 season