The Falcons somehow kept pace with the Kansas City Chiefs and had a real shot at stealing a win at Arrowhead, but continued offensive ineffectiveness and some Falcon-y stuff meant they headed home with a loss.
Here’s your hat tips & head-scratchers from Week 16.
A trick play pick and a 98-yard drive
Kansas City got a bit over their skis on 4th & 1 in the second quarter, electing for some trickery and a wildcat pass intended for Patrick Mahomes in the end zone. Keanu Neal snared a wild interception — a bobbling catch he likely should have batted down given the situation and the Falcons now backed up against their own goal line.
That would prove inconsequential, as Atlanta’s offense proceeded to march 98 yards the field — a drive that included a wacky fumble-pass to Todd Gurley to keep the chains moving and a 54-yard strike to Calvin Ridley. The impressive offensive showing featured a bit of Atlanta’s own trickery: a handoff fake and shovel pass to Hayden Hurst for the touchdown.
Oluokun picks Mahomes in the red zone
Pro Bowl snub Foyesade Oluokun put another 2020 highlight on his list, keenly nabbing Mahomes’ red zone pass intended for Travis Kelce in the third quarter. Oluokun would run the interception return back 51 yards before Tyreek Hill punched it out — a ball that mercifully went out of bounds.
The Falcons would unfortunately get nothing out of the turnover, as Matt Ryan was sacked twice and the offense was forced to punt, but kept the score even, which is a win against KC’s potent offense.
Let’s face it: Atlanta’s defense kept them in this game until the offense somewhat awakened in the fourth quarter. Holding Kansas City under 20 points is a feat in and of itself, and if the Falcons could muster any kind of effective offensive production they likely would have won this one.
Dirk dials up a head-scratcher
My mind touched the void on Atlanta’s second possession, as current offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter called an end around with Calvin Ridley on 2nd and 6 with the Falcons on the Chiefs’ 41-yard-line. The result? A loss of 7 yards, a 3rd & 13 and a drive that eventually stalled and failed.
Honestly: What was the abomination of a play call?
Taking a knee
I get being cautious, but this was pretty cowardly. With two timeouts and 30 seconds on the clock, Raheem Morris elected to head to the locker room instead of attempting to tack on some points before the end of the half.
The Chiefs would receive the second half kickoff, and against an offense of their caliber, you really want as much insurance as you can get. Instead, Atlanta decided entering the second half with an even score line was enough.
A.J. Terrell drops the pick
This would have been a game-saver, and unfortunately rookie corner A.J. Terrell could not come down with it. Granted, it was one hell of an athletic leaping grab, but you expect your first-round talent to come down with that football.
While it was clearly an incomplete pass, the Falcons would challenge the play for some reason, burning a timeout in the process.