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What We Learned: Falcons vs. Ravens

Someone fast forward to the end of the season please.

Baltimore Ravens v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Another disappointing loss puts the Falcons at 4-8 on the season. Here is what we learned from their Week 13 outing against the Baltimore Ravens.

As the 2018 season enters the final stages, the amount of punches on the chin for the team this season is enough to have a boxing referee end the match fairly early. Their Week 13 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens presented a team that has the No. 1 defense in the NFL and a dual threat quarterback in Lamar Jackson who may be as lethal as they come when he’s fully developed. The outcome, of course, gave the Falcons their fourth straight loss and slammed the door on whatever playoff hope still existed.

The list of things that went wrong here appears full: The offense only generated 131 total yards (yikes), the defense allowed 207 rushing yards, quarterback Matt Ryan was beaten up at a discomforting rate, oh, and the offense produced next to nothing. Did I mention that already?

Returning to the lineup was the speedy Deion Jones at middle linebacker. He produced 15 tackles and a sack in his first taste of action since Week 1 against the Eagles. Having his talents back on the field was a great sign. But even his stellar skill set can not save the Falcons from what has become a very disappointing season to say the least.

Baltimore Ravens v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

This is without a doubt the most discouraging stretch of the Dan Quinn era in Atlanta. That includes the 6-game losing streak during the 2015 season after a 5-0 start because, to be quite frank, that team carried very low expectations entering the season. This current edition of the Falcons had Super Bowl aspirations and was a team that many picked to make a postseason run. As they faced the Ravens on their home field, it was once again another sign of the team in need of several things at the moment.

Better health is one thing, as the team is still missing a number of key players due to the ill-fated injury bug. As is better talent at certain spots that many expected to step up and produce this season. Watching defensive end Vic Beasley streak down the sideline en route to a 74-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery was a sight for sore eyes. But watching Ravens corner Tavon Young do the exact same thing late in the fourth quarter to put the game away for Baltimore was a microcosm of the Falcons’ bad season. One step forward and three steps back.

Murmurs are starting to arise from the fan base as they voice their opinion on possible coaching changes happening this offseason. It’s safe to say that change will likely come, but probably not from the area where some are expecting. Technically, Quinn has yet to experience a losing season until now probably, and his job security is presumably not hanging in the balance and it should not be.

What is hanging in the balance, however, is the window of opportunity that this team has. There is still winning talent available, of course, going forward into the 2019 season, but at this point, the team looks like a far cry from the one that won the NFC just two seasons ago.