If you wanted to construct a meticulous case that the Falcons are a good, or even great, football team undone by poor luck and poor play in those milliseconds that matter, I’d be fairly receptive. Atlanta’s season has gone sideways because of so many isolated moments, all of them connected by the chains of misfortune and misery.
Take the Julio Jones drop in the end zone. After juuust being overthrown by Matt Ryan earlier in the day, Julio was hit in the hands by a pass he catches so routinely. In the midst of a very fine game in which he was slightly (or more, it’s hard to tell with Julio) injured, it was a catch #11 makes every time, and a catch he has to make. It was, after all, a fourth down strike to the end zone with the game effectively on the line.
Instead, Julio Jones dropped that pass. He’s not the most-targeted wide receiver in the world when the Falcons are looking for six, sure, but this stat still stands out.
Julio Jones dropped what would have been a 39-yard touchdown on 4th-and-7, the first time he's dropped a pass in the end zone since 2012.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 5, 2017
The Falcons have been effectively undone so many times this year by a freak or unfortunate play, and this Julio drop qualifies as both. You’re left to wonder whether this Falcons team is fated to lose close, aggravating games every week thanks to plays like these, or if their luck will turn. Julio and this offense have to be wondering, too.