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Falcons 21, Colts 24: Atlanta drops third consecutive game

This team can't stop losing.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are broken.

They had a bye week to prepare for the Indianapolis Colts — a team starting 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck — and they, for the second game in a row, lost to a backup quarterback.

Here's the breakdown:

First Quarter

It didn't take long for a turnover.

Paul Worrilow intercepted Matt Hasselbeck on the second play of the game, setting the Falcons offense up at the Colts 34-yard line.

But Atlanta only moved the ball five yards, and Matt Bryant missed the 47-yard field goal.

Of note: Roddy White was targeted on the Falcons' first three plays to start the game. Read into that however you'd like.

The Colts would turn the ball over again one their next drive. This time, Frank Gore was stripped by O'Brien Schofield, and Worrilow recovered the fumble at Atlanta's 45.

Devonta Freeman ripped off a 39-yard run to get the Falcons in the red zone. However, he'd leave the game with a concussion two plays later.

And again the Falcons would be turned away with no points and commit one of their patented red zone turnovers. Ryan's pass intended for Roddy White was deflected and intercepted by ex-Falcon Dwight Lowery.

Atlanta's defense forced an Indianapolis punt, and this time the offense would put points on the board. Matt Ryan found Patrick DiMarco wide open in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown to cap off a 12-play, 80-yard drive.

The Falcons took the 7-0 lead into second quarter.

Second Quarter

After another defensive stop, Ryan got the offense moving with a 36-yard deep shot to Julio Jones.

Several plays later, DiMarco got his second touchdown reception — this time from one yard out. The touchdown finished off another long drive: 10 plays, 83 yards.

Atlanta took a 14-0 lead, but the Colts responded with a long touchdown drive of their own.

Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a seven-yard shovel pass to cap off a 13-play, 80-yard drive, cutting the deficit to 14-7. The score would remain as such heading into halftime.

Third Quarter

The Falcons received to start the second half.

Ryan and Jones connected on two catches for 41 yards, and Leonard Hankerson's three-yard touchdown reception to complete the 10-play, 80-yard drive gave Atlanta a 21-7 lead.

But the Colts responded again as they did in the second quarter with their own drive. Bradshaw caught another touchdown pass, and once again it was a seven-point game.

Now it was time for things to go south.

Tevin Coleman fumbled the football to end the third quarter, and D'Qwell Jackson's recovery set the Colts up at the Falcons' 21-yard line.

Fourth Quarter

Atlanta's defense turned the Colts away after Ricardo Allen intercepted a pass intended for Donte Moncrief. The teams traded three and outs before it was time for more misfortune.

Moncrief downed the punt at the one-yard line to put Atlanta's offense in a precarious position. Ryan's play action pass intended for Jacob Tamme was intercepted by Jackson and returned six yards to tie the game at 21.

After the defenses took center stage for both teams, the Colts finally put together a scoring drive.

Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal put Indianapolis on top with :57 remaining in the game.

The Falcons picked up 21 yards before Coby Fleener intercepted a Ryan hail mary with no time left on the clock.

It was another ugly loss, folks. Thoughts?

(Moderators' Note: This is an open thread.)