The Atlanta Falcons fell to the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend by a score of 15-10. The Philadelphia defense was able to keep Matt Ryan and co. at bay, while the Eagles offense sputtered to 15 points. The Falcons were an embarrassment on offense, and deserved to lose the game. This unfortunate end to the season is emblematic of the entire 2017-18 season for the Falcons.
The Falcons started off the season well, as they won their first three games, including a win over the Aaron Rodgers-led Green Bay Packers. The tide turned for the Falcons however, as they suffered losses to the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots in three straight weeks. These losses had people all across the NFL wondering if the Falcons were good enough to make a run at the NFC championship once again.
The Falcons were able to pick things back up against the New York Jets, and this set the team back on the right track. The Falcons would eventually end the season with a 10-6 record, which was good enough to get them a spot in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. The team traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Rams. The Falcons handily beat their counterparts, and were rewarded with a trip to the less friendly climate of Philadelphia. Things fell apart here.
The Falcons had a season filled with ups and downs, just like that fatal last game in Philly. The team, down by five, was able to drive down the field with less than two minutes left in the game and get themselves to the goal line. Suspect play calling led the team to a fourth-and-goal with the season on the line. On that fourth down, Matt Ryan rolled to his left to try to find Julio Jones open in the end zone. Unfortunately, Jones had fallen so the play was essentially dead at this point, but Ryan was able to extend the play with his legs and eventually lofted a pass into the end zone that was intended for the hands of Jones. Sadly, Jones let the ball go right through his hands, and the season was over. Just when the Falcons showed the fans something, they found a way to take it all away. This has been the theme for the Falcons ever since kickoff in the Super Bowl last year: show hope, fall flat.