Losing a game on an intercepted two point conversion is the definition of “odd” in today’s NFL. On a day when coaching decisions seemed questionable, our star QB was off and the opposing offense was outscored by their defense and special teams, there are takeaways that don’t point to the final score on the day.
Offense still scoring points
On a day where Matt Ryan threw a pick six, AND a pick two (???), the offense still managed to put up 28 points. It’s easy to overlook it, because the game “felt” different, but the reality is that the Falcons offense still nearly put up 30 points (on another good defense) even with all the mistakes.
If you take away the decisions to go for two point conversions (I was not a fan of those) and the miss fourth down conversion (I was a fan of going for it), the team does put up 30 points. In back to back weeks, the offense has mostly had their way with two very respectable defenses. While the outcome isn’t what we wanted, there’s reason to believe this offense is still playing very well.
Against mediocre offenses, the defense is ok
The final score is misleading, in that it makes the defense look bad. However, the defense actually only gave up 13 offensive points. Sixteen of the 29 points scored by the Chiefs came off of turnovers (9 points) and special teams (7 points). That doesn’t mean the defense was “good” however.
Yet, for the second week in a row, the defense did “ok” against a mediocre offense. It’s not exactly the highest of praise, but it does bode well for the next few games. The Falcons will face two more mediocre offenses in the Rams and 49ers. If this defense can just be “ok” against them, there’s reason to believe the Falcons can put some wins together to close out the season.
The hardest part is behind us
As mentioned above, the Chiefs really represent the last “complete” defense we will face this year. The Rams have a Aaron Donald, but are very beatable on the back end. The 49ers have ... well, they have people. The Saints are better up front, but still have holes in their secondary and the Panthers are still porous in the back-end. The Chiefs had respectable talent at every level of their defense - something we won’t have to worry about for the remaining four games.
Don’t fret Falcons fans, not all is lost. The playoffs are still within reach, and this is a team that can become suddenly dangerous at the right time. The next few weeks will be huge, but there are reasons to believe the Falcons will bounce back from this odd loss.
What are your takeaways from the Falcons vs. Chiefs game?