FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons (4-3) suffered a potentially devastating loss, 33-30 to the San Diego Chargers (3-4) in overtime on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
( ICYMI: We talked to Falcons coach Dan Quinn about 2-point and fourth-down analytics over the offseason. http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/football/quinn-to-trust-his-gut-over-analytics/nrnZK/ )
Here are five things to know about the Falcons today.
1. RIVERBOAT DAN: Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 45 in overtime will deservedly be scrutinized and second-guessed. Most in the press box understood why he was going for it, but didn’t like the outside zone finesse play. The consensus was that a fullback or tight end/h-back should have been in the game escorting the running back through the middle of San Diego’s defense. A power move deserved a power play. The truth of the matter is that Philip Rivers was picking apart the defense and there was no reason send them back out to make the Chargers “earn” the win.
2. NO VICTORY MONDAY: With the loss, the Falcons players will be available to the media today along with Quinn.
3. RESTED OPPONENTS: The Falcons are set to face their third straight well-rested opponent. The Packers played last Thursday and will have three extra days of rest before playing the Falcons. San Diego was also coming off a Thursday game and Seattle was coming off its bye week before playing the Falcons.
4. NFC SOUTH RACE: By blowing the past two games late in the fourth-quarter and overtime, the Falcons have fallen back to the pack in the NFC South. With a 4-3 record, Tampa Bay is in striking distance at 3-3. The Saints are 2-4 and the Panthers are 1-5. Closing out games will be a big topic this week. The Falcons buzzword for that is “finishing.”
5. COLEMAN INJURY WATCH: The severity of running back Tevin Coleman’s hamstring injury will be important. He was walking around on it after he was pulled from the game in the third quarter. He was later taken to the locker room indicating that it may be more that just a hamstring tweak. Hopefully, between now and 2:30 p.m. Quinn has a chat with the team doctors and has a update for the fan-base today.