The Falcons dropped their fifth game of the season in Falcony fashion, with drops, miscues, and a grounded passing game telling the story.
Read on for Hat tips & head-scratchers from Atlanta’s loss against Los Angeles.
Patterson, Allgeier & Co.
The Atlanta Falcons have a truly punishing run game, regardless of who is handling the football. Rookie running back Tyler Allgeier looks every bit of an offensive weapon, and he got things started with his finest run of the season, fluidly weaving through traffic for a 44-yard gain.
His first game back since his stint on IR, Cordarelle Patterson added two touchdowns on the ground. As a unit, the Falcons rushed for 201 yards, which is confounding considering that they ended up losing.
Their lack of offensive balance doomed them against the Chargers, and it’s not the first time this season that Atlanta has been outdone despite its consistent success running the football.
The conversion streak
Portending how the remainder of the game would go, the second quarter was an absolute defensive collapse for Atlanta. The Falcons allowed the Chargers to complete four straight third-down conversions (including one series that featured a 1st-&-25), an offensive drive that chewed up nearly nine minutes of clock and ended with a Los Angeles touchdown.
The Chargers would continue that third-down conversion streak on their next drive, ultimately converting six straight before finally punting in the third quarter.
Air attack: Grounded
Marcus Mariota is Marcus Mariota. This we know. He’s never really been known for his downfield passing accuracy, but man does it hurt the brain when you see just how off-the-mark these throws are. Atlanta’s passing attack was abysmal in Sunday’s loss, with Mariota taking a few shots downfield that were wildly off target. His pass attempt to a wide-open Kyle Pitts was overthrown by at least five yards, nixing a prime chance to put the game away.
The Falcons do not have any issue with the ground game, but the air attack is embarrassingly bad at points.
A bad time for butterfingers
Atlanta’s loss was sealed in a way that seems to only really happens to the Falcons. Atlanta has clearly disrupted the cosmic order and they’ve been condemned to lose games in the most harebrained fashion possible. Sunday’s lowlight began as a highlight, as Chargers running back Austin Ekeler coughed up the football with the score tied and clock winding down.
Falcons defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham scooped up the football and began to run downfield, seemingly securing Atlanta’s opportunity to win the game with a field goal. Then, possibly as some form of karmic justice, Graham lost the handle and the ball was recovered by the Chargers.
Los Angeles would then kick the game-winner.
It’s difficult to properly encapsulate these sorts of plays, but they seemingly plague the Falcons. It was yet another comical way that the Falcons found to blow a ballgame.