Falcons Fall Flat Against Dallas

Matt Ryan (Falcons.com)

The Falcons-Cowboys game was a big game for playoff position.

Coming off a bad loss to Cleveland, we expected to see a huge effort in Atlanta but they failed to keep it up for all 4 quarters. The Falcons had another slow start and were down late but the comeback wasn’t good enough as Dallas was able to win the game late.

The first quarter started with the Falcons offensive line getting demolished by the Cowboys. Julio Jones dropped a key pass deep and a Demarcus Lawrence sack forced the Falcons to punt.
The Cowboys first drive started off with Ezekiel Elliott running threw the Falcons. Damontae Kazee injured his shoulder on this drive and Duke Riley injured his neck. The Cowboys Cole Beasley dropped a key goal line touchdown and the Falcons and Desmond Trufant held them to Field Goal.
The 2nd quarter started with the Falcons driving but stopped close to the end zone and the Birds were forced to kick a field goal due to the Cowboys defensive pressure.
The Falcons defense started to figure out Dak Prescott on the next drive and forced them to punt but the drive also ended with Trufant going down with a thigh injury.
The next drive the Cowboys line and Lawrence continued to give Atlanta problems as they gave up 2 more sacks and forced them to punt.
The next drive Trufant returned and with a Vic Beasley sack stopped Dallas on 3rd down. Falcons (the league leader in third down and long conversions) had 3 in the next drive, but couldn’t get a 4th one and ended the drive with a 45 yard FG from Matt Bryant.
The quarter ended with the Falcons up 6-3. Matt Ryan was 13-20 for 136 yards. The Falcons had 3 key drops that kept them from moving drives. The Dallas defense came thru with 3 crushing sacks but the Falcons secondary rose holding Dak Prescott to 73 yards and Amari Cooper to 0. Both coaches put pressure on their defense at the half.
The Cowboys and Elliot started the 3rd quarter driving but another Vic Beasley sack and the Falcons grit forced Maher to kick a 50 yard FG to tie the game 6-6. This looked to be a kicking game as the Falcons were stopped again but answered with a Bryant 53 yard Field Goal.
The 4th quarter started with the Cowboys moving again after the Falcons missed a key fumble recovery and Dak and the Cowboys capitalized with a 4 yard TD run. The extra point was missed though which would play a BIG part in this game.
The Falcons couldn’t capitalize and a tipped catch by Ridley ended up being an INT for Vander Esch putting the Cowboys at the Falcons 31. The Cowboys didn’t let up and pounded the football till Elliot escaped for a 23 yard TD run making the score 9-19.
The Falcons used their quick pace to move down the field but a red zone stop by Dallas limited the Falcons to another FG to bring the score to 12-19. Penalties and the Falcons defense forced a stop and the Falcons got the ball at their 32. The Falcons showed incredible fortitude and a 34 yard bomb tied the game 19-19. But the late game efforts proved to not be enough as Maher kicked a 46 yard field goal to win the game 19-22.
Matt Ryan was 24-34 for 291 and a TD. Julio Jones had 6 catches for 118 yards and a TD. Ezekiel Elliot had 191 all purpose yards and the Dallas defense had 3 sacks and an interception. The Falcons now 4-6 must recover fast with a Thanksgiving matchup in New Orleans.

Evan Nix


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