The Atlanta Falcons started the season 8-0 by winning a lot of close games. On Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, some of that luck ran out as the Falcons dropped their first game of the season, 31-27.
While Dave Choate of SB Nation's Falcons blog The Falcoholic realizes that going undefeated is darn near impossible in the NFL, that does not make this first loss any easier to bear:
Knowing that does not lessen the sting of the first loss. If that first loss comes against the reviled Saints, and it involves the Falcons' offense crapping the bed against the worst defense I've ever seen and a poor defensive effort against their high-octane offense, it doesn't just sting. It's like pouring ghost pepper pieces into a gaping wound and then lighting that sucker on fire.
It may be going a bit far to say the Falcons' offense "crapped the bed," as they did put up 27 points and 454 total yards. However, after Atlanta had managed to get the game within one early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons failed to put any more points on the board. This includes a long drive that got down to the New Orleans 2-yard line before failing on fourth down.
On the other side of the ball, Atlanta's defense was gashed for 148 rushing yards by a New Orleans ground game that has been weak almost all season. The Falcons' rush defense has been an issue for the majority of the year, and it finally came back to bite them.
Making things even worse for Choate is the fact that New Orleans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are slowly crawling back into the playoff chase. Atlanta will look to get back on track in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.