On Sunday, September 24, three things happened in the NFL of major consequence.
*Taylor Swift appeared with Boyfriend Travis Kelce‘s Mom in the stands at the Chiefs/Bears game.
*The Dolphins pounded the Broncos with a score even college football rarely ever sees, 70-20.
*The Saints QB Derrick Carr suffered a possible season ending injury.
But to those living inside norhern Georgia, ether one of those could have been better conversation points than the head shaking performance of the Atlanta Falcons today. They lost to the Detroit Lions 20-6, and it seemed like the loss should have been worse considering the lack of offense and defense on the Dirty Birds side.
The Falcons never crossed the end zone today. Their only two scores were provided by Younghoe Koo, 2 field goals. Through nearly all measures, the Falcons were outplayed by a strident Lions team.
Quarterback Desmond Ridder got sacked seven times. He went 21 out of 38 for 201 passing yards that did not lead to a single touchdown. By contrast, Jared Goff, the Lions QB, went 22 for 33 with 243 yards and a TD. His only blemish was an interception that the Falcons couldn’t cash in for a score.
It was hard to find a “player of the game” on the Falcons side because there wasn’t much on the entire team to positively highlight. Bijan Robinson was successfully slowed down by Lions defense, and could only register 33 rushing yards. Everyone else’s rush yards numbers were shoe sizes. Kyle Pitts got 5 receptions, much more use than he’s seen before today, but he could only get 41 recieving yards.
The Lions scored touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters, mainly because Falcons defense seemed powerless to stop their run game, and a non-existent pass-rush couldn’t contain Goff.
Meanwhile, Falcons offense went nowhere. Out of twelve possessions, they gained 13 or less yards in eight of them. They went a total of 32 yards on 29 plays. On most of their posessions they went three and out. And in one (4th quarter) they gave up the ball on downs.
“We have to do a better job,” said Head Coach Arthur Smith at a press conference after the game. He told the press that there were too many negative plays on offense and as for Ridder’s sack troubles, he and the team couldn’t stitch together plays because the Lions offense was beating them consistantly. “We had chances even late to try to do something with it and we didn’t”
It was a game the Falcons would have liked to have back, but could take solace in that they aren’t the Broncos, who are trying to explain a 70-20 loss to the Dolphins.
The Falcons are now 2-1 for the season. They will pack their bags and fly to Wembly Arena in England to face the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday.