The Falcons loss to the Vikings puts them on the outside of the playoff race and in a must-win position for the remainder of the season. The nature of the loss made many fans freak out, but the reality of the game should calm some nerves. Here are some takeaways from the ugly loss.
Offense was offensive, but not inept
The Falcons were going against one of the best (if not the best) defenses in the league, so seeing them struggle shouldn’t have been a big surprise. That said, no offensive touchdowns has set many fans to calling the team trash for their performance.
The reality is that the offense looked competent for most of the game. The play-calling appeared to be fine (most of the time). The biggest issues the Falcons ran into were - again - self-inflicted. They were hit with quite a few penalties (some did not look legitimate for what it’s worth) and made some untimely drops. Likewise, a couple of key throws were off-target enough to cause incompletions.
Against a lesser opponent, you may be able to get away with some of those things. Against one of the top teams in the league? It shows up like a sore thumb. Had the Falcons played a cleaner game on offense, there’s a good chance we’re having a different conversation today.
Defense held it’s own for the most part
Any team that loses two of its top 3 corners is almost always in for a long-day. When you consider that the Vikings came into the game with one of the best receiver duos in the league, it appears to add up to a disaster in the making.
It’s somewhat remarkable the Falcons only gave up 14 points.
The defense did an admirable job for most of the game. The long 8 minute drive in the third quarter stands out as a blotch on an otherwise good performance. This may not be a top-tier defensive unit, but they are showing signs of improvement in key areas. If they can just nail down their issues with stopping the run, they have the potential to be a truly dominant unit.
Don’t underestimate the opponent
I was hammered by fans who insisted that the Vikings are not that good of a team and the Falcons should have won. As the saying goes, you are what your record says you are. Based on that, the Vikings never should have been underestimated by fans. This is a quality team that may end up the top seed in the playoffs. Don’t forget - this same defense held the top offense in the league (the LA Rams) to just 7 points when they played them several weeks ago. Say what you will about how the Falcons performed, but don’t take anything away from this quality Vikings team. They were never going to be an easy opponent.
What are your takeaways from the loss to the Vikings?