Atlanta Falcons Defense needs to come up big late in games

The Falcons have been inconsistent on defense. Just when they tie the score, Atlanta gives up two big touchdowns to lose third straight game

The Atlanta Falcons took their first loss at home of the 2014 season. Sunday’s 27-13 defeat marked the third straight loss of the season and it officially put the Falcons in a tail spin. Earlier, we broke down the Falcons’ offensive efficiency, and it’s been a steep decline from where they started the season.  Now we are taking a look at the defensive performance in the loss to the Bears.  

Part II: The Defense 

Overall, the defense had a so-so performance against the Chicago Bears. They gave up three touchdowns, and two of those were from Matt Forte. Jay Cutler connected with Josh Morgan for the lone passing touchdown of the game.  

Coming into the game, Atlanta knew Matt Forte would be a focal point for the Chicago offense, and he didn’t disappoint the Bears’ fans. Forte finished the game with 27 total touches.  Ten of those plays were receptions out of the backfield, and Forte ended up with 157 total yards and two touchdowns.  

If the Atlanta was going to give up plenty of yards to the running back, they had to contain Jay Cutler and the passing game.  Obviously, that wasn’t the case either. Cutler finished the game 26/38 passing for 381 yards and that lone touchdown to Josh Morgan. Although Forte caught 10 of those passes, it was the big plays by the dynamic duo of Jeffery and Marshall that turned Atlanta’s defense sideways.  

Alshon Jeffery led the Bears with five catches for 136 yards. Jeffery’s biggest play came on a 74 yard gash of the Falcons’ secondary.  Brandon Marshall, not to be outdone, caught six passes for 113 yards.  The two receivers combined for 249 yards, and greatly outplayed Atlanta’s duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White.  

Martellus Bennett also had a nice game with four catches for 52 yards. While the big four play makers for Chicago didn’t find the end zone through the air, they all had catches of 16 yards or more.  

Atlanta finally got some pressure on the quarterback and earned three sacks, but it was hardly enough to inspire the uninspired.  As a team, Atlanta must get better defensively, while forcing turnovers. In a day where teams gave up more points than Atlanta’s 27, the Falcons’ weren’t able to stem the tide at any point in the game.  

Coming out of halftime, it looked like Atlanta was getting back to their championship form. Following back to back scores (touchdown, field goal) by Atlanta, to tie the score at 13, Atlanta had all of the momentum. However, that 74 yard play to Alshon Jeffery seized the game right back. A play later, Matt Forte was in the end zone to take back the lead for good.  

One the ensuing drive, Atlanta gave up a 15 play 87 yard possession that took half a quarter.  Forte finished off the game with his second touchdown. In an instance, Atlanta gave up touchdown drives of 80 and 87 yards to fall behind two touchdowns. It shows that the Falcons are a few plays away from turning the season around, but they need to make it happen it clutch situations.    


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