The Atlanta Falcons closed their season out on a high note, winning in Tampa Bay to finish the season 7-9. For the second season in a row, the Falcons finish 7-9 while missing the playoffs.
Is there any person in the NFL happier than Dan Quinn tonight? Quinn’s future was confirmed when Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced on Friday he would return for the 2020 season and after today, the Falcons finished a 6-2 second half of the season. Dan Quinn has to be feeling pretty great about himself as the Falcons flew back to Atlanta this afternoon.
Let’s get into the game. It was a pretty up and down game for both teams. The Falcons jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter. It was the Buccaneers who came roaring back in the 2nd quarter, outscoring the Falcons 22-6 to take a 22-16 lead going into halftime.
The second half started slow for both teams, with the Falcons and Bucs playing to a 0-0 stalemate in the 3rd quarter. It was the 4th quarter that saw the Falcons score 6 points to tie the game, despite being in the red zone with a chance to win the game. Instead, the Falcons had to kick a field goal to send the game to overtime.
The Buccaneers were glad to win the coin toss when overtime started. Just needing one more touchdown to win the game, the Bucs started driving. Overtime didn’t last long when Jameis Winston, more on this later, was picked off by Deion Jones for a pick-six to end the game. It was a bizarre, exciting way to end the roller-coaster season for the Falcons.
With the win, the Falcons finish 7-9 after starting 1-7 on the season. With Dan Quinn’s return confirmed the focus will move to the offseason, draft, and cap space. Quinn and co. will have to make a decision on the future of Dirk Kotter, with Raheem Morris already confirmed to return on the defensive side of the ball. Quinn will likely stick with Kotter for the continuity of the situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change.
I will have plenty more to say about Dan Quinn and the back-to-back wasted, pointless seasons the Falcons have had. For today, let’s enjoy the Falcons’ final win in the final game of the season. With the way the first eight weeks of the season went, it’s just nice to see the Falcons string a few wins together, even if the Falcons had a chance to get a high draft pick. For this night, the Falcons won in their final game until next August/September.