The Atlanta Falcons have one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, yet they are now 1-3 after a devastating and crucial Week 4 loss to the New England Patriots. With two high powered quarterbacks at the helm, many figured it would be a high scoring game, but the Patriots escaped with a 30-23 victory despite a valient comeback effort by Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
The Falcons were down by 10 points when they attempted their first onside kick half-way through the fourth quarter, but they were successful in recovering it, and thus their comeback began. Ryan was able to lead the offense down the field, and although they came away with just a field goal, they still had a shot at forcing overtime, as they were down by seven with over three minutes remaining. The Patriots then proceeded to fumble the ball on fourth-and-short and the Falcons were given their golden opportunity to finish their comeback.
Ryan led the offense down the field once again, but was unable to cap off the potential game-tying drive with a touchdown, as his final pass fell incomplete to Roddy White with the Falcons in the red-zone. Although the Falcons finished with a disappointing 23 points, Ryan had a great game individually, as he threw for 421 yards and two touchdowns. The lack of a run game affected the Falcons in the red-zone, as they scored just one of the six times they were within 20 yards of the end-zone.
The defense for the Falcons failed to do much in terms of helping the offense, as the lone turnover they forced was because of a bad snap, and they allowed the Patriots to collect 448 yards of total offense. The defense for the Falcons also failed to put pressure on Tom Brady, as they recorded zero sacks on the day and allowed Brady to throw for more than 300 yards.
The Falcons are in trouble now that they stand at 1-3 record wise, as they are in third place in the NFC South and the first place New Orleans Saints look like they are back to being a championship caliber team. The Falcons did prove again on Sunday night that they have one of the best passing attacks in the league, but they felt the full effects of Steven Jackon‘s injury as they rushed for just 58 yards against the Patriots.
Looking forward, the Falcons are in a great spot to turn around their season, however, as they will face the 2-2 New York Jets next week before their bye during Week 6. After their bye week, the Falcons will likely have Jackson back from his hamstring injury, and although the defense will still have its holes, the offense will be strong enough to will this team to a few wins on their own.