No one can blame the defense for what happened Sunday -- they held a really dangerous Minnesota offense to 14 points. Only Dallas has scored less than 14 points on this unit this season, and no team has held Minnesota to 14 or less since Case Keenum permanently took the reins from Sam Bradford in October. And this was without Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole. No, the problems rested squarely on the offense, where they reverted to their anemic ways on the opposing side of the field. Though, they were a big play away from taking this one. The locker room was disappointed, but perhaps they needed one more good loss to really feel the urgency of 2017. It’s a fight the rest of the way through, but if Minnesota proved anything, it’s that this team has the tools to make noise in the playoffs. They’ve just got to use them correctly. Thursday’s Saints game will help determine if this team has the goods for January success.
Without star corner Desmond Trufant, the Falcons proved their defense is capable of holding it’s own. Unfortunately, penalties and drops and off-target throws doomed the offense. Ryan was not his normal accurate self, though he was certainly not “trash” as many have claimed. Unfortunately, this team still can’t get out of it’s own way. I still believe this team has the talent to beat any other team - and make no mistake, they were in this game until the end - but until they can play more disciplined from snap to snap, they are not a playoff caliber team.
Most of the staff expected a narrow loss to the Vikings because the Falcons were dealing with a ton of injuries and the Vikings are simply one of the best teams in the league. And that’s what happened.
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought I just watched a game from the 1977 Falcons, not the 2017 ones.
The Falcons have now run out of extra legroom, and if they’re going to do damage in the playoffs once again, they must right the ship now. They will be facing defenses much better than ours for the remainder of the season, including playoffs (save for the Bucs but they aren’t a real NFL franchise anyway) - at some point, the offense must overcome a strong defense. Each individual unit needs to start carrying its own weight now. If it does, you could easily see this team in Minnesota not once, but twice in the next couple of months. If it doesn’t, well, you know how it’ll end.
The Falcons defense, sans two of its top three CBs, held a top-10 offense to only 14 points. That’s pretty fantastic. If only they had managed to win the game--which was still close despite the offense failing to score a TD. Minnesota has, perhaps, the best all-around defense in the NFL, so it’s no surprise that the Falcons offense struggled a bit. But really, this game comes down to dumb penalties: take those away, and Atlanta probably comes out on top against one of the best teams in the NFC.
There’s no more margin for error. Thursday is a must-win game, seeing as it’s unlikely the Falcons pull off the upset in New Orleans in a few weeks. We just have to hope that 10-6 is enough to get this team the 6th seed. With tiebreakers over Green Bay, Detroit, Dallas, and Seattle, it just might be enough.
I am definitely not one for moral victories but losing to the Vikings 14-9 is nothing to feel shameful about. Especially with the Falcons defensive unit being without Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole, the defense was overall solid minus the final drive which the Vikings needed to put the game away. The loss to Minnesota makes the margin for error going forward a little more narrow. The offense was underwhelming to an extent but a couple of plays here or there and this may very well be a different outcome. The Falcons showed something against Minnesota and pretty much went toe-to-toe with one of the league’s best.
I didn’t think this was a must-win game, though it was obviously one I fervently hoped Atlanta would pull off. The disappointment came in the way the Falcons lost, with a defensive effort that was juuust good enough to hold the Vikings to 14 points, coupled with a pretty inept performance on the other side of the ball. There was the sense, yet again, that Atlanta was so close to winning, yet they appeared light years away from actually doing so. May that not be the final epitaph for the season.