The Atlanta Falcons continue to find different ways to lose this season. This time, it was against the Detroit Lions, who took the win 23-22.
It was a back and forth contest all game, and it looked as if the Falcons had a chance to make the final blow.
Instead of letting the clock run out and kicking the field goal, Todd Gurley II stumbled into the end zone to give Atlanta a 22-16 lead with a minute left in the game.
That gave Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense enough time to go down the field and score a game-winning touchdown.
The thing that has haunted the Falcons all season is not being able to finish games, and it came back to get them again today.
To makes things more difficult, they’ll have a quick turnaround on Thursday Night Football as they face the Carolina Panthers.
Both teams just saw each other two weeks ago, with the Panthers taking the win, 23-16. Later that day Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff were fired.
Defense was the deciding factor in the Week 5 matchup. The Falcons defense had a hard time stopping the Panthers, and the Panther defense forced Matt Ryan into one of his worst games of the season.
Carolina is coming off a close loss as well on Sunday to the New Orleans Saints.
Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers offense were rolling, and if they’re able to keep that same momentum going into Thursday, the Falcons will be in for a big challenge.
D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are two explosive wide receivers that can get behind the secondary quick, and that’s what they did against the Saints.
The Falcons secondary allowed Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. to have big games, so it’s not very encouraging that they'll play a similarly talented Panthers receiving duo in Week 8.
The Falcons offense should have Julio Jones against the Panthers this time around, as he was inactive in Week 5.
The difference he makes while on the field is big, and it should help the offense produce more than they did the last time these two teams saw each other.
Like any other division game, this could come down to the wire and it would be best to have the ball last in that situation.