Falcons fans have been through the wringer more than any other fan base in recent history. The Lions, Browns, and Jaguars have long been disastrous franchises but haven’t experienced the kind of heartbreak the Falcons have caused the great people of Atlanta. Year after year since their epic meltdown in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, Atlanta has blown giant leads. The most jarring statistic being the Falcons are 5-3 over the last three seasons when leading by 15+ points in the fourth quarter, and the rest of the league in those same circumstances are 245-2-1…
To make matters worse, here are a few snippets of the pain and misery Falcons fans have had to endure:
The Atlanta Falcons lost all these games pic.twitter.com/42EY3DxIBl
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) September 12, 2022
Obviously, the new regime isn’t responsible for all of these blown leads, but they certainly bear some responsibility. Most recently, the Falcons blew a 16-point, fourth-quarter lead to their most hated rivals, the New Orleans Saints.
For much of the afternoon, the Falcons dominated the Jamies Winston-led Saints. However, a series of bad calls and lapses of judgment resulted in a New Orleans comeback. Arthur Smith and Dean Pees called a near-perfect game in the first half, then crumbled down the stretch. Marcus Mariota looked the part, too, then had a couple of backbreaking plays, including a botched snap on third and short and another fumble in the red zone. It was a team-effort collapse. The finger can’t be pointed in just one direction.
However, if I had to put the share of the blame on someone’s shoulders, it would be the head coach. On fourth and one, the Falcons elected not to go for it and punt it to a red-hot Saints offense and play with a reeling defense. The decision was mind-boggling; they were playing not to lose instead of going after a much-needed win. The analytics supported going for it on fourth down, but even more so, Smith has been heralded for his offensive expertise… seems like a perfect time to ice the game with a creative play call.
Hopefully, Smith and company learned their lesson and will correct the mistakes moving forward because this fan base has had enough of the Falcons blown leads.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
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