After Falcons running back Steven Jackson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:45 left in the first half to make the score 21-0, four of the next five Atlanta possessions resulted in three punts and an interception. The Falcons gained only 75 yards in the second half.
The 21-point blown lead tied for the largest in Falcons history. In the past six games, including five straight losses, Atlanta has been outscored by 63 points in the final quarter.
Detroit won 22-21 on a 48-yard field goal by Matt Prater as time expired after he missed wide right from 43 yards seconds earlier. The missed kick was nullified because Detroit was called for a delay-of-game penalty before the play.
“You’re up 21-0,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There’s no way you lose that game — just no way. There’s nothing else I can say.”
"This is as tough a loss to take as any that I've ever been a part of," Ryan said. "We had a lot of chances to win that ballgame. It's just that we didn't make plays when we needed to."
Atlanta (2-6) has a bye this Sunday before going on the road to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 9.
- Scooby Axson