The Falcons met their divisional rival in a Thanksgiving showdown. Both teams are going in two different directions this season. The Saints are flying high on a nine-win streak with true Super Bowl hopes. The Falcons are struggling on both sides of the ball with hopes of ending with a wining season. The Falcons lost in New Orleans, 31-17.
To start the game, they allowed Drew Brees and the offense to go down the field and score a touchdown pretty effortlessly. However it got better after that. They performed up to expectations against a high powered Saints offense. The defense didn’t shutdown Bress and company, but they did give the Falcons a good amount of chances.
The best play on either side of the ball came from the most consistent Falcons player in the season, Damontae Kazee. Kazee got his 3rd interception in 4 games and 6th interception on the season. It was only Brees’ second interception in the entire season.
The defense got a few stops that were big when the game was close; but after the game, they seem irrelevant. Surprisingly, the game could have been competitive if the offense could have kept pace. A defense that was getting all the blame at the beginning of season has actually improved; but is being overlooked because of the woes on the other side of the ball.
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It seems as through the struggles of the offense have come out of nowhere and they have just become stagnant. The red zone issues have become a huge problem again. In the second quarter, the Falcons offense had put together five consecutive trips which had only one produced one field goal. Matt Ryan got stripped at the 3 yard line for a costly turnover early in the game.
The game was full of missed opportunities for the offense to get some points on the board. They had 3 points until the last minutes of the third quarter. In the last possession of the first half, the Falcons had the opportunity to get some points and get double possession because they received the ball after halftime. Ryan threw a pass to Julio Jones who caught it and had room to run, but got hit hard and fumbled the ball.
Ryan had his 5th interception in the season in the fourth quarter which led to Saints going three scores up. The Saints punted a decent amount, but since the Falcons offense could not get any points off them, those stats were meaningless in the game.
The Falcons had three key fumbles, two of which came inside of the 5 yard line. It was very representative of the season: Miscues and unlucky plays.
The Falcons look likely to be playing spoiler to different teams playoff hopes in the rest of the season. In a season with such potential, it just seems like a nightmare for Falcons fans. The injuries definitely played a role in this season, but is also just bad football. The Falcons are back in action at Mercedes Benz Stadium on December 2, 2018 against the Baltimore Ravens.
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