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3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down in Week 12 loss to Saints

This is the worst timeline.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons dropped their third game in a row with a 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving night.

Who’s up and who’s down in the loss?


Matt Ryan

Ryan doesn’t deserve any of this. The Falcons offensive line let him get sacked six times — including once that resulted in a lost fumble in the red zone — and yet he still was able to post 377 yards and two scores. His lone interception came from a tipped ball. Oh, and let’s not forget fumbles in the red zone by Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley (who fumbled at the one-yard line). One more thing; Ryan was the Falcons’ leading rusher. What more do you want from the guy?

Damontae Kazee

Make it six picks on the season for the league leader in interceptions. Kazee picked off Drew Brees in the first quarter after it looked like the Saints were ready to march down to take a commanding two-score lead. In wake of the Falcons’ many injuries, the second-year player has been a revelation. He’s proven to be a certified ballhawk and will undoubtedly earn himself playing time next season once Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal both return to action.

Jack Crawford

Crawford has been an unsung hero of sorts. It was understandable not to expect much from the defensive tackle after his season was cut short last year with a biceps injury, but he has proven to be the Falcons’ best pass rusher. Nothing against Crawford at all, but that should not be the case with two first-round defensive ends on the field.


Ben Garland

It was a rough, rough outing for Garland as Sheldon Rankins was able to get nearly everything he wanted against the backup guard. Garland hasn’t been abysmal on the season, but he looked like a clear backup against New Orleans.

Steve Sarkisian

I guess the honeymoon’s over. Sarkisian’s come back to Earth the past few weeks, but at least it was fun for a little bit. If the Falcons continue their ineptitude on offense — especially a questionable commitment to the nonexistent running game — then I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ultimately shown the door.

Rodney Harrison

There are plenty of other actual Falcons you can put here — and admittedly, three is probably too few — but Harrison was absolutely atrocious and clearly biased. It’s never good with a commentator can draw you out of the game, and that’s exactly what Harrison did as he tried to assert multiple times that Ryan was “playing like a rookie.” Add in Tony Dungy incessantly pounding the table for Mohamed Sanu to get the ball on third down, and you have a pretty disastrous performance.