The Atlanta Falcons lost a close and hard fought game in Seattle. Are the officials to blame for the Falcon’s loss?
The Atlanta Falcons played a great game in Seattle Sunday despite falling to the Seahawks 26-24. After falling behind two scores in the first half the Falcon’s offense came alive and took advantage of the Hawk’s secondary driving the ball down the field with ease to take an eventual 24-17 lead.
That lead didn’t hold for long and Matt Ryan was given yet another chance to do what he has done for the majority of his career. That is to take his team on that last drive to get the deciding score. Facing a fourth down on the drive Ryan threw it to Julio Jones who was being guarded by Richard Sherman.
Sherman proceeded to pin Julio’s left hand behind him forcing Jones to attempt a one handed catch. The play was an obvious pass interference a call. A call that the officials had not missed on Robert Alford in a key drive for the Seahawks in the second half.
The no call cost the Falcons their last shot of a win in Seattle and was a great example of the failures of the officials all day long. They appeared to be biased on more than one play in Seattle. The Atlanta defensive line was held more than once in the game and was not given the call. At one point in the game the Falcons defensive tackle was being held back by the Seattle center by a blatant holding call that again the officials failed to call for the Falcons.
This pattern continued through out the game and ended in a call that should become the poster child for why penalties or lack there of should be something that coaches can challenge or the booth can review. Seattle and Atlanta fans alike knew what should have been called on that play as well as the booth. The fact that the officials refused to throw the flag or even talk about such a crucial call again proves that human error will always play a role. The easiest way to fix this? Make penalties or lack there of something you can review at the very least in a game winning situation.
The flip side of this is that the Falcons were put in this position when Matt Ryan threw a pick late in the second half. Instead of running time off the clock the Falcons opted to be aggressive and paid for it with the loss. Matt Ryan forced in the ball into tight coverage and for once it didn’t go in the Falcons favor. Julio Jones had the ball bounce on his hands off Richard Sherman and right into the waiting safeties arms. Regardless of the officials lack of ability to call a fair game that play hurt the Falcons just as much and shouldn’t be underscored.
Regardless of the loss the Falcons remain in control of the division and their fate this season. They are headed back home to face one of the easiest match ups they have in quite some time. The Falcons will be facing the Chargers at 4:05 on FOX.