The Atlanta Falcons will need to much better 2nd half if they intend to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and move to 8-4.
Kansas City may be playing their sloppiest game of the year but lead 20-16 at the half in Atlanta. The keys to a Falcons victory have been well documented throughout the week but thus far, Dan Quinn’s group has not executed.
Matt Bryant has been as sure-legged as one can be on the day
The Chiefs have “gifted” nearly 100 penalty yards but the Atlanta Falcons’ offense has been unable to sustain drives and take shots at the end zone. Not even a Vic Beasley strip-sack that set up the Falcons well within Kansas City territory was capitalized upon by the Atlanta offense. Thankfully for Falcons Faithful, kicker Matt Bryant has been as sure-legged as one can be on the day.
Atlanta did get off to a quick start on the game’s opening drive. Single coverage allowed Matt Ryan to immediately hook up with Julio Jones on a 46-yard pass play. Devonta Freeman later scored from a yard out and gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead. Kansas City answered with their own big pass plays and put Spencer Ware into the end zone with a 3-yard run. Ra’Shede Hageman blocked the extra point try, leaving the Falcons with a 7-6 advantage.
Kansas City has taken advantage of a sluggish Falcon defense that has lacked pressure up the middle. Alex Smith heads to the locker room 11-of-13 with 168 yards passing and a touchdown pass. Matt Ryan is 14-of-20 with 148 yards and tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Chiefs’ safety Eric Berry.
One big positive for the Falcons is their special teams play. With so much hype surrounding Tyreek Hill’s speed in the open field, Atlanta’s kick coverage teams have done an excellent job collapsing in on Kansas City’s returners. Matt Bryant’s 59-yard field goal as the 2nd quarter expired was also a much-needed gain of momentum for the Falcons.