Falcons vs. Patriots final score: Atlanta falls to 1-3 with 30-23 loss

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons rallied late, but when the game came down to a fourth-down pass from 10 yards out of the end zone, the offense couldn't make it happen. Atlanta is now 1-3.

A late-game comeback fell short for the Falcons, as Atlanta suffered a 30-23 loss to New England on Sunday Night Football, putting the team at 1-3 on the season. The Falcons trailed 30-13 with just over six minutes to play, but they were able to rally to pull within a touchdown of the Patriots. They just couldn't close out.

Fans were ready to give up on the game, and the crowd dwindled down after the Patriots hit 30 points. A touchdown from Tony Gonzalez and a fumble by Tom Brady on the following series brought the stadium back to life, though. At least the Falcons made it an exciting defeat, right?

First impression

The Falcons just look un-Falcon like. Obviously injuries have taken their toll through just four weeks, but the team just seems out of sync at times. They managed to mount a comeback late in the fourth quarter. However, the game ultimately came down to a fourth-down call with 10 yards to go. That's quite a familiar scenario for this team, and it continues to produce the same result.

Matt Ryan was not on his game. Several of his passes sailed. The Falcons went for it on another fourth down in the red zone in the first quarter. Ryan had Roddy White open, but his pass was well off the mark.

Tom Brady is an elite quarterback, so there's no shame is giving up big numbers to him. But when you see Kenbrell Thompkins catch six passes for 127 yards and a score, you can't feel too confident about the secondary. They're young, but it was rough to watch.

Highlights

- The Dome looked packed, and the crowd was energized for the primetime spot. Tony Gonzalez did his "I'm Tony Gonzalez?" intro, which is always great.

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- Bartu showed the world his fade. How can you not cheer for him?

- Matt Bryant opened the scoring up with a 23-yard field goal. Red zone issues continue to plague the offense.

- Matthew Mulligan (who?) caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady with 12:49 to play in the second quarter. The ball went right through two defenders, and I have no idea how it wasn't deflected. Brady is a warlock of some sort.

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- Tony Gonzalez scored from 21 yards out to make it a 10-10 game with just under a minute to go before the half. The 21-yard line technically isn't the red zone, so that's how they found the end zone.

- Down 13-10, the Falcons put the Patriots in third-and-19 situation early in the fourth quarter. LeGarrette Blount took the handoff and broke free for a 47-yard touchdown. How does that happen? It's LeGarrette Blount.

- The offensive line saw its share of issues, again. Apparently some fans were complaining to Todd McClure about him leaving. That's what it's come to.

- Tony Gonzalez caught a second touchdown, making it a 30-20 game with 4:28 left.

- The Falcons recovered and onside kick to rekindle hope. Bryant nailed a 25-yarder to pull the Falcons within one score.

- Ryan looked for White in the end zone on fourth down, but Atlanta's last play of the game failed. The Falcons gave the Patriots a scare.

- Injuries were a factor as well (What's new?). Akeem Dent, Paul Worrilow and Sam Baker all left early. Vince Wilfork exited for the Patriots early in the first quarter. Both sides were affected in this regard.

It was over when...

The last pass of the game was batted down by Aqib Talib. Ten yards out, fourth down, the Falcons fail to make it happen once again. Kenbrell Thompkins caught an 18-yard pass from Brady falling out of bounds in the end zone earlier in the fourth quarter. That made it a 27-13 game, and the fans started to head for the exits. While the Falcons came back, this score was a game-changer.

MVP

Gonzalez was really the only standout throughout the night. It's good to see him become an integral part of the offense again. Too bad it was all for naught.

LVP

Chris Colinsworth. Good lord, that guy is terrible. In the fourth quarter, he said Steven Jackson has been a non-factor the past couple weeks. You know, those games where he didn't play.

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How are you feeling about the team after a quarter of the season?

NOTE: I know everyone is frustrated, but please be civil and abide by the site's rules in the comment section. Thank you.

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