The Atlanta Falcons had a strong chance to potentially take the lead in the division today and they came so close to having that happen.
They needed to pull off a win against the Washington Commanders while also having the Cleveland Browns beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It all came two yards away from coming true.
Atlanta Falcons hopes of having first place were intercepted… literally
The Atlanta Falcons should have beaten the Washington Commanders but they decided to get away from running the ball inside the five-yard line.
All they needed was a touchdown in order to tie the game and potentially kick a game-winning PAT. They had the ball on the four-yard line with a second and goal. They elected to pass the ball, which we can all criticize now, and the pass got intercepted after it was tipped at the line of scrimmage. It was a painful way to end the game.
They ended up getting the stop on defense but then went for it all as they tried to block the punt and they ran into the punter which resulted in a first down for Washington. You cannot really fault them for going for the block as the chances that they were going to drive 50+ yards in less than a minute with no timeouts was unlikely.
They lost the game and at that point, the Buccaneers were beating the Browns but the Browns managed to fight and pull off an overtime win to help out the Falcons in the long run.
In some ways it makes the loss hurt more since they would have had first place in the NFC South, but the Falcons are still right in the hunt. If the Bucs had won, things would have been exponentially more difficult with the season winding down.