Falcons Fall Just Short To The Texans 17-10
It was a difficult start for the Falcons on offense, committing a turnover on their second drive. The Falcons were punished by trying to be too clever on a flea flicker that was very poorly executed and eventually picked off by Texans CB Kareem Jackson. A second turnover quickly followed, a miscommunication between Ryan and Julio Jones allowed the Texans to pick the ball off and return it into Falcons territory.
Sandwiched in between these two turnovers was one forced by the Falcons this time on Defense, making TJ Yates fumble the ball which was recovered by James Sanders. In all honesty the refs should of overturned the call becuase TJ Yates arm was going forwards, giving the Falcons a massive break.
Despite the early mistakes by the offense, the Falcons D bailed them out only conceding 10 points in the first half. The Falcons Defensive success started with stopping the run effectively in the and forcing TJ Yates to beat them, throwing the football. Unfortunately for the Falcons, he did beat them on one play, a bomb down field to Andre Johnson with Dominique Franks in coverage. This play led to a TJ Yates touchdown pass giving the Texans their 10-0 lead.
The Falcons responded on the ensuing drive taking the ball down the field, to the one yard line of Houston. However a terrible play call on third down from Mularkey, choosing to roll out with the QB, when that hadn’t worked the three times he had tried it before in the game. Forced the Falcons to take the Field Goal to bring it back to 10-3.
Just before the half, the Falcons had another opportunity to score but two dropped passes from Julio Jones and Roddy White killed the drive off.
In the second half, the Falcons came alive. A good long drive in the 3rd quarter by the Falcons ended in a TD connection between Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Tied at 10-10, the defining play of the game was about to come and it came on a Texans possession inside their own territory. With TJ Yates under pressure, he made a poor throw which was intercepted by Falcons OLB Mike Peterson and returned for a TD. However the Falcons joy was short lived as the play was called back because of a defensive holding penalty on CB Dunta Robinson. Not only did it cut out the touchdown, but it gave the Texans a new set of downs for their offense.
This play came back to bite the Falcons, as the Texans drove down the field taking 10 minutes off the clock and scoring a touchdown on a Arian Foster run. With 6 minutes left in the game, the Falcons took over down by 7, and began to drive down the field, converting on a few really big 3rd downs.
Inside the Texans own 30 yard line, the Falcons drive was halted and they were left with a 4th down & 1. The Falcons, had little choice else but to go for it and they made it with a throw to Roddy White. However that play was also called back for Delay of Game, when it seemed like there was 1 second on the play clock when the ball was snapped.
Being pushed back into a 4th & 6, the Texans pressure was able to get pressure on Ryan and the pass fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs. With the game seemingly over, the Falcons D gave the the whole team new life by making a quick stop and getting the ball back to the offense with 57 seconds left at their own 30 and no timeouts.
Matt Ryan again led the team down field and got the team in a position to throw into the endzone from around the Texans 30. With 8 seconds left, Matt launched one throw in the endzone, overthrowing Roddy White slightly. Despite this there was still 1 second left on the clock, giving the Falcons one last opportunity. Matt Ryan dropped back and threw the ball up in the endzone to Julio Jones in triple coverage and he nearly made the catch just losing the ball at the last moment.
Although the heartbreaking loss likely puts Atlanta out of the NFC South race, they are still well and truly in the wild card hunt.
Next week, the Falcons travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers.