Houston began the fourth quarter with possession of the ball, and would embark upon a 19-play scoring drive that was kept alive when the Texans converted a fourth-and-one when they could have easily elected to kick a field goal. Three times the Falcons forced third or fourth down, and three times they failed to stop some combination of Arian Foster or a short pass by T.J. Yates. A one-yard TD by Foster would put the Texans up 17-10 with just over six minutes left.
Matt Ryan would then lead the Falcons on a similar drive, one that spanned 13-plays and involved two conversions on third-and-long. Guys like Harry Douglas, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez all made clutch catches in the absence of any real running attack.
But on a fourth-and-one on the Houston 20 that was originally a completion to Harry Douglas and would have been a first down was negated by a delay of game penalty. All season long, the Falcons have been plagued by penalties in key situations, and that was certainly true here.
After turning the ball over on downs however, the defense quickly kicked the Texans off the field, and the Falcons suddenly had the ball again with 0:59 left and no timeouts. Amazingly, in only four plays Ryan got the Falcons from their own 33 to the Houston 25. The end of the game went something like this:
0:08 left: Ryan chucks it deep to Roddy White but thrown over the heads of both White and the cornerback
0:01 left: Ryan throws it to Julio Jones, who is in triple coverage, and yet somehow the ball still finds his hands. But Jones drops the pass.
Another tough loss, but the Texans defense and Arian Foster both deserve alot of credit. They simply made more plays and fewer mistakes today. The Falcons will drop to 7-5, and now look ahead to next week's rematch with the Carolina Panthers.