Here’s something you probably suspected but couldn’t prove: The Falcons are great in the first quarter, solid in the fourth quarter, and kind of lousy in the second and third quarters. The proof is in the scoring.
The Falcons have been remarkably hot in the first quarter most of the season, allowing just 28 points (!) on the season in the first quarter and scoring 61. They carry the scoring over to the second quarter, where they’ve scored 77 points on the year, but they also have allowed 81 points in the second quarter this year. That’s an astonishing total, and they’re also handily outscored in the third quarter, when they’ve put up an anemic 33 points and allowed 49.
Things get back to normal in the fourth quarter, where the Falcons have 60 points against their opponents’ 52. On the season, as Knox Bardeen notes below, they’ve scored just 20 points more than they’ve allowed.
#Falcons scoring by quarters:— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) November 21, 2017
What can we take away from this? It’s obviously important for this Falcons team to get off to a hot start, because they come back down to earth a bit after the first quarter, especially defensively in the second and offensively in the third. We’ve seen this play out again and again this year, especially in the team’s most baffling losses, and it could have to do with opposing teams adjusting, simple fatigue, or simply poor play and luck. Whatever it is, it is still abundantly clear that the Falcons aren’t going to make a deep playoff run this year playing well for half of a game.
Do consider the relatively small sample size here as you digest this information, but even so, it’s obvious the Falcons have some work to do in order to ensure they’re not drifting away from their best football in the middle of games.