Watch: The 2019 Atlanta Falcons Offense is Dominant, at Least In Garbage Time

Tom Pollin

The 2019 Atlanta Falcons have scored 165 points through eight games, good for eighteenth in the league. That’s not the problem though. It’s when in games that the Falcons are scoring. The team has scored 80, or nearly half, of their points in the fourth quarter. It’s bad enough that the Falcons defense has collapsed so completely in 2019. Their offense has been doing most of its best work when all the team can do is win garbage time.

The season hasn’t been a complete waste of offense. Through the first eight games, the Falcons have taken leads in four, twice by 3-0 scores and twice more by 7-0 scores. They’ve even led in two games when heading into halftime, 10-6 over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 and 17-16 over the Houston Texans in Week 5. Except for in their only win against the Eagles, that’s when everything comes apart.

In Week 1, the Falcons were down 28-0 to the Minnesota Vikings when they finally put two fourth quarter touchdowns on the board. In Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts, the Falcons were down 20-3 at halftime. The team made a game of it in the second half with a touchdown in the third quarter and 14 more points in the fourth but spotting any team a 17-point lead is a huge hole to try and climb out of.

The Falcons took a 7-0 lead over the Tennessee Titans in Week 4 before surrendering 24 unanswered points to finish the first half. In Week 5, the one where they were leading the Texans at the half, 17 unanswered third quarter points put the Falcons away before the team added 15 meaningless fourth quarter points.

Even Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons were down 20-10 at the half and 27-10 in the third quarter before staging their biggest comeback of the season. Yes, Matt Bryant missing the extra point that would have tied the game at 34 was agonizing but remember what we said about 17-point deficits during the Colts game. You can’t fall into them. That contributed as much to the Falcons losing as Bryant’s missed kick did.

Then you get to the game against the Los Angeles Rams where the Falcons lost control of the game in a 37-10 loss followed by Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, the Falcons made that game close at the end, but they were down 24-0 at halftime.

The Falcons defense is thirty-first in the NFL in points allowed this season, so we all know where the big problems with this team exist. However, the team’s offense, the champions of garbage time football, shouldn’t go blameless for the Falcons 1-7 record.