Was the Falcons’ Defeat a Fait Accompli?

  ATLANTA – The Miami Dolphins’ 20-17 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons on the road at Mercedes-Benz Stadium has already dulled the luster off of the new, pharaonic structure. Fans in the metro area who have yet to recover from the Fred Sanford heart attack of Super Bowl LI remain in high dudgeon when a so-called Yankee mentions 28-3, thus, are suspicious of the Falcons amassing big leads only to have a competitor do an okie-doke on them.

As the game commenced, Atlanta deviated slightly from their traditional high wire act on offense by orchestrating an uncharacteristic pattern for them with reasonably time consuming drives. The Falcons devoured approximately ten minutes of clock in the first quarter resulting in a 50-yard field goal by Matt Bryant and an exhilarating 40-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Marvin Hall for an early 10-0 advantage.

On defense, the Falcons provided just enough pressure on Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler that may have made him temporarily reevaluate his decision to forgo the start of his career in broadcasting in exchange for the quintessential last stand opportunity on the gridiron. Nevertheless, Miami points were not forthcoming, and Atlanta capitalized on another drive that culminated in a touchdown following a six-yard dash by running back Tevin Coleman to extend the lead to 17-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Dolphins Head coach Adam Gase and staff devised a strategy that was quite different than the first half. Since they did not want Cutler to hide back into his phlegmatic shell of yesteryear, running back Jay Ajayi was featured prominently in the offense to mitigate Atlanta’s ball hawking defenders. Also, Miami decided to employ more of a zone defense instead of relying upon Suh and company to get home on Ryan until the offensive line was more battle worn.

            The gambit began to payoff as Cutler engineered sustained scoring drives seemingly hitting receivers like Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry in space with two touchdown passes after a total of 20 plays in the third quarter alone (approximately 10 minutes time of possession). Atlanta’s defense began to fatigue as usual and was prone to penalties that are often an indication that the mind was no longer in control of the body like Jimmy Johnson used to promulgate.

In the fourth quarter, the Atlanta Falcons appeared to be shell-shocked in all phases of the game. The offensive line (tight end included) missed blocking assignments, the defense looked feeble, and even a snap of the football was muffed resembling a wounded quail flailing in air on a crucial special teams play.

The Falcons were roasted to perfection as Ajayi rushed for 18 yards out of 132 yards total deep into Atlanta’s territory for game winning field goal by Cody Parkey with about 2:30 remaining. Although the Atlanta Falcons had sufficient time to either tie the game or win outright, it appeared to be a fait accompli that the contest would end on a tipped Ryan interception, which it did off the hands of Austin Hooper into the grasp of Miami’s Cordrea Tankersley near the goal line.

In conclusion, the Miami Dolphins are not the Belua that they were decades ago, but they possessed enough fortitude to achieve victory today in Atlanta. This is especially difficult to accept with the appearance of a refurbished, risible color scheme resembling a mint julep trimmed in white and orange for Miami in 2017.

Atlanta: Home Where the Buffalo Bills Roamed

ATLANTA – The Buffalo Bills 23-17 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons provided additional ammunition for the national media that the Falcons really should not have been considered near the top of the inane, weekly power rankings. For the Bills, they have proven that they are not the same old team that is incapable of being competitive.

Atlanta entered into the contest donning a variation of the Too Legit to Quit Falcons gear and was favored to win despite competing against the Bills’ highly touted defense. The game did not follow the script early as the high-flying Falcons were unable to score a single point in the first quarter. Nevertheless, Atlanta managed to take a slim 10-7 advantage into halftime following another strong run by running back Devonta Freeman.

The Falcons found themselves involved in another controversial call by the officials in consecutive weeks. Approximately four minutes into the third quarter, Atlanta’s quarterback Matt Ryan was just about to enter into his throwing motion deep behind the line of scrimmage as his right arm was hit. Ryan attempted to regain control of the football as it appeared to accelerate forward about ten plus yards downfield like a shot put, which was ruled by the officials as a fumble as Bills’ Tre’Davious White on the qui vive recovered the ball for a 52-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

While some local fans thought the fumble return for a TD was a cruel fate in the fortunes of the Falcons on that afternoon, Atlanta should not place too much emphasis on calls or no calls because they had ample opportunities to win the game outright. Things do not always go your way in athletics. Therefore, a team must be able to rise above circumstances no matter how arduous; you win some and lose some.

            Of course, the Atlanta Falcons’ offense had to undergo some adjustments for half of the contest because wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu Sr. were out due to injuries incurred by both. Ryan and the rest of the receiving corps were out of synchronization enough to be partially responsible for more interceptions. Unfortunately, running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 137 rushing yards but still found themselves not being called upon in seminal moments.

The truth of the matter is the fact that the Buffalo Bills placed Atlanta’s defense in an imponderable predicament. Since running backs LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert have the running styles and abilities akin to Joe Cribbs and Thurman Thomas of old passim, elusive quarterback Tyrod Taylor operated the play action pass adroitly by roaming so well that the Falcons were incapable of halting the run game or preventing the secondary from covering receivers for over three days duration.

In reality, the Atlanta Falcons’ situation is no different than it was when the season commenced. The defense remains a work in progress that must become more proficient in subsequent games as the offensive brethren may face defensive units that will preclude them from amassing leads like they hope, especially if receivers Jones and Sanu Sr. may require convalescing injuries for multiple contests. Well, the fortuitousness of Atlanta about to enter into the bye week is a blessing because they need to rest and refocus in sodality.