Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome. The Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
A quarter through the 2013 season and frustration is in the air where the Atlanta Falcons perch.
Back on September 8th in the Superdome, the Falcons had a third down and goal on the Saints three yard line with a minute left to go for a score that could have produced a win. The two final plays failed and Atlanta opened with a tough road loss instead of an inspiring start.
Sunday night, two situations hurt again the chances for a Falcon win which is why the season has been frustrating, because with the rookie youth movement, the injuries, the working of the offensive lines, it has really been still a couple of events that has kept the Birds from keeping pace with the Saints.
Atlanta took the opening kickoff against the Patriots and carried a 14 play, 75 yard, and almost a six minute possession to the New England five yard line, where they had a second and goal and have just witnessed the massive Vince Wilfork leave the game with an injury. Two passes and we settle for a field goal, again. This is where Smitty should have tried the defensive replacement out with a stuff up the middle and also decided it was here that we’d “go for it” on fourth down, not later, to cash in such a great opening drive.
Leaving Brady with his first series out of his end zone still would have been a good trade off than the three points and it would have made for a better statement, fail or succeed, from the get go.
It felt like the nest was being raided when Bryant came on to kick for the points. It was in this rebound game at home in a nationally televised game that Atlanta was suppose to show the seasons early difficulty was just a learning curve, but instead it seemed all confidence in turning previous issues has grounded us.
I recall the Pink Floyd verse from the song Hey You, -”don’t help them to bury the light,- don’t give up without a fight” The second dagger came early in the fourth quarter, with the score 13 – 10 patriots. The Pats have a third and 19 on their own 12 yard line. There is nobody in Georgia that doesn’t think a stop here could have changed things to the good guys favor. A twenty six yard completion, in the middle of the field.
No magic from Brady, No super call from Bill. It was a shot in our own foot, from the non existence of pressure to the coverage of the only receiver hurting us. Horrible. The following Blount 47 yard run for a score was probably from the lingering dizziness from the 26 yard punch. These two flashes of time during the game is really the difference maker from what I witnessed. Success in one of these , certainly both, would have Falcon nation happy being at 2 – 2 today. Speaking of double two’s, why did it take so long when Julio and especially Tony G having double teams tagged on them, for us to discover Harry Douglas ?
It will be interesting with the next couple of games and a bye to get healthy and some wins, but I’m positive this team is not close to playing and keeping up with teams like Seattle or Denver.
I must state two more observations, on the positive side. Tony Gonzalez was truly a guaranteed hall of fame inspirational ageless weapon. He had a game where even he in his remarkable history will remember proudly. The second one being, Matt Bosher has a cannon of a leg. I hope he practices the sixty five yard field goal if ever a game needs that last chance. I still have hope the Birds will be 5 – 3 when Seattle comes to town, but developments during that span will dictate if I have hope of the Birds defeating the best of the west, with the couple of wrongs we have experienced so far have then turned to right the Birds flight.