- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you lose a close game to the defending Super Bowl champions. But it’s a completely different story when you lose at home after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in your own building and then get steamrolled. The Falcons had a chance to right their season. Instead, they’re 2-3 and in third place in the NFC South. With New Orleans leading the division at 4-1, the Falcons haven’t left themselves with much margin for error the rest of the way.
What I liked: The Falcons scored touchdowns on their first two possessions. They put together an impressive drive to start the game. They followed that up by getting a fumble recovery from Vance Walker (forced by cornerback Brent Grimes) and punched that in for a touchdown. Fast starts, lengthy drives, consistency and forcing turnovers were not a strong point for Atlanta in the first four games.
What I didn’t like: The offense didn’t do much of anything after that. That put a damper on what had been a very strong defensive performance most of the night.
Stat of the night: Despite the absence of defensive end John Abraham (hip injury) the Atlanta defense snapped its streak of three straight games without recording a sack. Ray Edwards, Atlanta’s top free-agent pickup, even got into the act and recorded his first sack of the season in the fourth quarter.
Injuries to note: Nickel back Chris Owens suffered what the team described as a head injury in the first half after making a jolting tackle on a Green Bay punt return. Owens did not return to the game. Kelvin Hayden took his place. Safety William Moore injured his shoulder in the first half and did not return. Veteran James Sanders took his place.
What’s next: The Falcons host the Carolina Panthers next Sunday at the Georgia Dome.