The Atlanta Falcons eight-game winning streak came to an end Monday night with a 17-14 loss to their NFC South rivals, the New Orleans Saints. The loss prevents the Falcons from clinching the NFC South crown and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs – if only for a week. A win next week against the 2-13 Carolina Panthers will still lock everything down for Atlanta but this loss has a bigger effect on the mindset of Atlanta.
The Saints are all but locked in to the No. 5 seed which means the Falcons will likely see them again in the conference semi-finals. The Falcons have won 19 of 23 games at the Georgia Dome since 2008 but had their seven-game home winning streak snapped. Their last loss at home was also to the Saints. Psychologically, this was a bad loss. It puts doubts in the Falcons minds. They are no longer invincible.
Notes: The Falcons gained just 215 yards of total offense, the lowest total since Mike Smith took over in 2008.