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Worst losses of the Mike Smith era, ranked: How is it even possible to only score a safety?

It was a dang playoff game and the Falcons scored two points total.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2011 season was sandwiched in between two of the best seasons in Falcons history, and it’s kind of an afterthought at this point. Atlanta finished 10-6 and locked up a wildcard bid, which they went on to totally squander in humiliating fashion.

They scored two points. Two. Damn. Points. In a damn playoff game.

This one still fills me with rage. The Falcons finished the season in the top 10 for total offense, but still couldn’t manage to get in the end zone against the New York Giants. Not once. Not even one time.

These are grown men whose job it is to play football for a living. This was a team that was good enough to win 10 games and make the postseason and they couldn’t score a single dang touchdown.

This was, of course, Julio Jones’ rookie season. The team had just traded away a billion draft picks to move up to take Jones, and after the Falcons’ early exit from the playoffs after the 2010 season, the goal was to create an unstoppable offense. I’d say the offense was very stoppable, considering they scored literally zero points.

Atlanta’s defense was pretty mediocre that season, and finished 2011 ranked No. 21 in the league. But at least they did something in this game.

The Falcons could have lost 23-8, because Mike Smith had two chances to kick field goals and decided to go for it both times on fourth down instead. Both conversion attempts failed, and here we are, still catching slander about the team we love only scoring a safety in a postseason game.

Part of the issue was that the offense was in transition. The Falcons wanted to build an offense in the image of the Green Bay offense that destroyed Atlanta in the 2010 playoffs (oh, don’t worry, we’ll get to that one). But the line was built to pave the way for Michael Turner. Pass blocking was horrid, and Ryan was sacked twice and had just 199 yards.

Maybe things would have been different if the Giants hadn’t totally shut down the run, but Atlanta managed just 64 yards on the ground that day. Good night, that is embarrassing.

I hosted a Falcoholic meetup during this game and a bunch of us watched this one together at a Taco Mac in Decatur. I drank a lot of hard ciders and I’m pretty sure I cried a little on the way home. This one was brutal.

Here’s the running list:

5. Saints snap Falcons eight-game winning streak in 2012
4. Browns beat the Falcons in infuriating fashion in 2014
3. How is it possible to only score a safety?