The Atlanta Falcons remaining within the thick of the NFC South image must be a supply of torment for the crew’s followers. Two weeks in the past they have been 6-6 and alone atop the division. Following an unpleasant 9-7 loss to the previously 1-12 Carolina Panthers, Atlanta is now 6-8 and a full recreation behind the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was a moist, ugly, and empty afternoon in Charlotte–a lower than four-hour drive from Atlanta–on Sunday. Tickets have been promoting for as little as $0.45. A free ticket would have been too costly to sit down exterior, within the rain, and watch these two groups play horrible soccer.
The Falcons managed just one drive that didn’t finish in a turnover or punt. Desmond Ridder threw for 152 yards — 56 of which got here from a completion to Jonnu Smith late within the second quarter. They gained a complete of 204 yards on the day. Within the second half, the Falcons’ offense didn’t rating some extent and totaled 67 yards.
Additionally they turned the ball over on their last two drives of the sport. Then, to place the ultimate stench on an extra-large turd sundae, the Falcons ended the sport by permitting arguably the worst offense within the league to march down the sector on a 17-play, 90-yard drive that sucked the final seven and a half minutes off the clock. The Panthers kicked the game-winning area aim as time expired.
For consecutive weeks, the Falcons have been pounded by a division rival. They put collectively a helluva comeback effort in opposition to the Buccaneers in Week 14, scoring a mixed 15 factors on their first two drives of the fourth quarter. Sadly for them, they allowed the Bucs to attain after each the touchdowns. Sure, that hail mary being caught wanting the top zone was humorous Falcons folly, however the higher crew gained that recreation.
Tampa shouldn’t be a particular crew, however Carolina is placing up a season worthy of the No. 1 general decide. A decide the franchise won’t have, as a result of it was traded to the Chicago Bears. The Panthers have misplaced by double digits seven occasions this season. If there was ever every week for the Falcons to make use of to maintain tempo for a division title, it was Week 15.
As an alternative, the Panthers improved to 2-12. That is the kind of loss that may drive a stake into the guts of a season for a crew, aside from the truth that the Falcons can’t lose sufficient to remove themselves from playoff competition. Their final regular-season three video games are in opposition to the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Saints. Falcons followers shouldn’t really feel assured in regards to the crew’s prospects, however the season is way from over.
For at the very least another week, the Falcons will probably be combating for his or her playoff lives. One other week wherein the Falcons can drag their followers by way of the muck of faint postseason hope by advantage of taking part in within the worst division within the NFL.
Yet one more alternative to maintain a season going that will be higher off being mercifully extinguished.