After Darius Johnson fumbled deep in Saints’ territory midway through the 4th quarter, it looked as though New Orleans would quickly close out a game they seized control of in the second half. That knockout punch never came, so the Falcons, as in their Week 1 loss in the Superdome were given one last opportunity to grab the lead late in the game.
Like Week 1, they came close, but still agonizingly short. Facing a 4th and 15 with two and a half minutes left and trailing by four points, Mike Smith instead elected to attempt a 52-yard Matt Bryant field goal. Bryant would have made it had he not been iced by Sean Payton. The second attempt missed and now Mike Smith has another critical late decision to get berated about by fans and the media.
Atlanta still had a chance to get the ball back with three timeouts and the two-minute warning, but the defense couldn’t stop the Saints offense from killing the clock. So even had the field goal been good, it wouldn’t have affected a whole lot.
Meanwhile, here’s your Rob Ryan GIF of the night.