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Measured, thoughtful reactions to the Falcons loss in Week 6

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Atlanta’s second loss of the season prompts our writers to reflect.

Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Matt Chambers

I can’t think of any game where I’ve had more mixed feelings than this loss. The missed call was absolutely terrible. Similar to the missed call against Roddy White at the end of the NFC Championship Game. I absolutely hate that the game was taken out of Atlanta’s hands, and we weren’t able to see if Matt Ryan could put together a truly iconic win. Terrible.

At the same time, the Falcons are legit. Atlanta went on the road to play two out of the three last Super Bowl Champions. They dominated one, and came back to lead against another. They made great adjustments and scored 21 points in the third quarter against one of the best defenses in the league in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. The Seahawks needed the refs to win this one. This is truly a phenomenal feat, and finally shows something the Falcons have not been able to do in some time: hang with the very best in the league. I really hope we see Seattle in the playoffs.

Kendall Jackson

I’m still not sure how you can miss such an obvious call. It’s truly baffling. Although the Falcons were robbed, we really saw what this team is made of. They went on the road to arguably the toughest place to win and nearly — and probably should’ve — beat one of the best teams in the league. Oh, and the Seahawks were coming off a bye. The Falcons showed resilience after a rough start and their offense proved it can put up points on any team. No doubt this 4-2 record feels a lot better than last year’s 5-0.

DW

Like everyone else, the no-call at the end was mind blowing, and I do feel like the Falcons were about to come back and steal that win. Even still, this game demonstrated that this team is absolutely different from the 2015 squad. The defense is improving every week, and the offense is still very capable of putting up points no matter who the opponent is. More than anything, though, the mental toughness to claw back into this game after getting dominated in the second half was the most revealing thing. While it’s highly unlikely the Falcons finish 14-2, this is definitely a team that will not be put down easy.

Dave Choate

I expected the Falcons to win this one, but I also realized (and wrote) that a loss did not doom this Atlanta team. Only a blowout would’ve given me pause, and to be fair, it looked like one was in the offing after the first half.

This Falcons team knows how to fight back, though. They know how to play some stellar offense, even against great defenses, and that defense is coming together in a way none of us could have anticipated before the season. In short, this loss stings, but does not truly hurt, because the Falcons are for real. There’s plenty of reason to believe we haven’t seen the best they’ll have to offer in 2016, too.

Kevin Knight

I’m disappointed with the way the game ended, but I’m very proud of this Falcons team. Atlanta showed resilience and an ability to adapt that we’ve seldom seen. After getting pummeled in the first half, the team made key adjustments and came out firing in the third quarter. The fact that they were in a position to win the game in the final seconds is encouraging. Going into one of the most difficult environments in the NFL and pushing them to the limit is mighty impressive.

These Falcons are among the best teams in the NFL in 2016. This loss actually may have cemented them in that category more than wins over Carolina and Denver. The NFL is taking notice, and I truly feel bad for the San Diego Chargers. They are going to face a very angry Falcons team with a fired up fanbase in the Dome on Sunday.

William McFadden

I’ve definitely got some mixed feelings on this one, but not because of the final no call - although that doesn’t help. I realized at the beginning of the fourth quarter, that I actually expected and believed the Falcons would win. That’s pretty incredible considering my expectations coming into the season and the fact that Atlanta’s schedule has been nothing short of brutal. The loss stings because I anticipated a win. Nevertheless, even in a loss, this team continues to make me damn proud.

Caleb Rutherford

Well...the Falcons’ luck finally ran out, but thinking about what could have been a borderline-unbelievable win on the road has left me feeling positive. There were a couple bumps in the road at the end of the game that the Falcons would probably like to have back, but what we saw Sunday was a Falcons team that traded blows with a legitimate Super Bowl contender in their house after 1) a brutal road game last week and 2) their bye week. Yes, the refs screwed us, but I have no doubt that if we played them in a week, we could win. That alone is enough to tell the world that we can handle anyone.

Allen Strk

Playing in a hostile environment will only help this team going forward. This was a great learning experience, especially against a rested Seattle team. The third quarter comeback was magical. What offense scores three touchdowns in one quarter against an elite defense? They made excellent adjustments, which wasn’t the case last season. Of course, falling behind on the road is never ideal. The offensive line looked completely disorganized in the first half. They were fortunate not to be down more than two possessions. Matt Ryan can’t take a beating like that ever again. In the end, a young defense played relatively well and managed to contain a dangerous Seahawks’ offense. The loss is a bitter pill to swallow for Dan Quinn’s team. It shouldn’t be viewed as a missed opportunity. A resilient performance will give this team confidence that they can compete with anyone.

Kyle McClendon

If you just look at the box score, this looks like another example of an Atlanta team blowing another big game in crunch time, and one could say that this was what happened--one could also be wrong. This game showed everyone that the Falcons are a legitimate team with a powerful offense, a young, aggressive defense and a coach that won’t let the team quit no matter the circumstance. While it sucks to be hosed by referees and to lose a game when it really seemed like Atlanta was the better team down the stretch, it was great to see the Falcons fight and perform well in such a hostile environment against a great opponent. Seattle is a great team with a ton of talent and Atlanta took them to the brink in Seattle. This team is for real and now that the schedule eases up, it’s time to keep the foot on the gas. Should be fun.

Torgo

The ending of the game is an embarassment for the league, though we might not get an admission of that. But as Quinn and Julion have noted, nothing is going to change so it’s time to move on. Atlanta still has a 1.5 game lead within the division, and our division rivals will also have to play Seattle. We’re still in excellent shape. Our young players on defense are getting more reps, including finally getting De’Vondre Campbell back into action. As a whole, the defense will continue to improve with experience. We’re going to be a scary team at the end of the season.