ATLANTA (CBS46) – Atlanta Falcons fans had an eerie case of Déjà vu Sunday afternoon for another game in Texas where the team was cruising in the second half, only to blow a huge lead and lose in heartbreaking fashion.
If there was aa bright side, at least this one wasn’t on the grandest stage of them all in football, the Super Bowl.
But alas, the Falcons surrendered a nine-point lead with less than four minutes to go in the fourth quarter to the Dallas Cowboys. How rare is that you ask? The Falcons had a 99.9 percent chance of winning in the fourth quarter and the loss was a one in 1,000 chance of happening, according to TheRinger.com. Further, entering Sunday, teams were 440-0 when scoring 39 points with zero turnovers in a game since 1933 when team turnovers were first tracked, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN.
This one may have stung a little bit more because of the onside kickoff the Falcons completely blew late in the fourth quarter. Every football fan who knows a little bit about the rules knows a kicking team can’t touch the onside kick until it travels at least 10 yards. They also know the receiving team can pick up the ball at any time after it leaves the kicker’s foot.
Apparently, the hands team on the Falcons had never seen an onside kick as they watched the ball slowly roll 10 yards and see the Cowboys pounce on it for the recovery. The Cowboys then mounted a short drive, kicked the winning field goal, crushing Falcons fans everywhere.
The heartbreaking defeat may have sealed the fate for the Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn. Teams that start 0-2 have just an 11 percent chance of making the postseason. Quinn, who survived a disastrous start last season isn’t likely to do the same thing again. After the game, “Fire Quinn” was one of the top national trends on Twitter for hours. And at this point, it’s hard to justify keeping Quinn around any longer.
The Falcons are dead last in scoring defense in the National Football League, giving up 39 points per game through two games. Since losing the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots, the Falcons have had just one winning season (2017) and are 14-20 over the last 34 games and are just 43-39 since Quinn took over as head coach.
Plus, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Falcons. The team has a winnable game against the Bears, then faces the Packers on the road before coming back home to play a woeful Panthers team. Atlanta then goes on the road to play Minnesota. Assuming losses to the Packers, Vikings and possibly the Bears, the Falcons could be staring at a 1-5 start.
The other question that will have to be answered will be how long does the team keep general manager Thomas Dimitroff in his role. While he has drafted some great players over the years, he's also responsible for keeping Quinn in his role for so long despite diminishing results.