Atlanta Falcons blow 21 point lead to lose on last second field goal
The Falcons used a team effort to almost pull off a huge upset

Atlanta falters down the stretch to lose in heartbreaking fashion. The Falcons fall to (2-6) in the NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons blew a golden opportunity in Sunday’s 22-21 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Falcons held the lead for the whole game until the final buzzer. That’s when newcomer, Matt Prater knocked in a game winning 48 yard field goal as time expired.   

In a twist of fate, Prater missed his first chance at glory with a kick that sailed wide right. However, the play didn’t count due to a delay of game penalty, and the ball was set back five yards. On the ensuing play, Detroit got it right and left London with the improbable one point victory.  

The game was highlighted by a tale of two halves. Atlanta jumped out to a 14 point first quarter lead in relatively easy fashion. The Falcons had two drives of 80 and 56 yards that culminated with a pair of Matt Ryan touchdown passes.  

In addition to the great offensive display, Atlanta played lights out defensively. The Falcons shutout the depleted Lions’ offense in the first half with an extraordinary effort. 

With Atlanta using a mix of the running game, they tacked on another seven points before halftime to take a 21-0 lead. Steven Jackson finished off an 89 yard touchdown drive with a 1-yard run. 

However, the second half was a different story. Halfway through the third quarter, Detroit finally got on the board with a field goal to cut the lead to 18. Three minutes later, Golden Tate caught a 59 yard touchdown pass on 3rd and 25.  Tate got behind the defense and Matthew Stafford let it rip down the right sideline.  

Still, the Falcons were holding an 11 point lead going into the fourth quarter. Once again, the Falcons held the Lions out of the end zone when the held Detroit to a chip shot field goal by Matt Prater.  After trading possessions, the Lions exposed the Falcons defense for Theo Riddick’s touchdown catch with 3:56 left in the game. The Lions cut the lead to two points, but they were unsuccessful on their two point conversion try.  

All Atlanta had to do was pick up a couple first downs, while running out the clock. The Falcons got the first part right until an untimely holding penalty stopped the clock after the two minute warning. Then the Falcons’ Julio Jones dropped a hitch on third down, forcing a punt.  

Instead of receiving the ball under minute left in the game, Detroit found themselves with a 1:38 seconds on the clock. That’s all they needed to get in Matt Prater’s field goal range.  

Atlanta fell to (2-6) with the loss, while Detroit moved to (6-2). It was another dismal fourth quarter where Atlanta was held scoreless.  Matt Ryan was 20/27 passing for 228 yards a two touchdowns. Ryan also threw an interception.   

 
 
 
 
William Harrison
By William Harrison 10/27/2014 00:22:00