The Atlanta Falcons played an exciting four quarters of football against the Washington Football Team in Week 4, but they couldn’t stop Washington’s late-game surge and lost 34-30.
Now, as the team sits in the basement of the NFC South with a 1-3 record, it’s still hard to fathom how the Falcons lost this game. Atlanta started strong, the offense didn’t turn the ball over, the offensive line only allowed one sack, and the team held an eight-point lead with four minutes left.
Then, the wheels fell off on defense, but don’t think the Falcons’ offense is off the hook either. The team’s ultra-conservative play-calling in the final minutes gave Washington life.
According to ESPN’s win probability meter, Atlanta had an 88 percent chance of winning with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter after Dante Fowler stuffed J.D. McKissic for a one-yard loss on first-and-15. This was the highest win probability of either team until Washington jumped to 93 percent with 26 seconds left in the game.
You never want to overreact to a single loss, and there were a lot of positives on offense. However, this Week 4 loss to Washington feels especially devastating since the Falcons’ next game is against the New York Jets, which would have given Atlanta a great chance to enter the Week 6 bye with a winning record.
The season is far from over, but the Falcons’ playoff chances took a major hit on Sunday. We’ll see how the team responds in Week 5.