Falcons blown out by halftime in 43-3 loss to Cowboys

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The Atlanta Falcons got off to an atrociously bad start in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, trailing 36-3 in the first half before losing by a final score of 43-3. There was very little for the Falcons to hang their hat on, and a whole lot to clean up before this Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Let’s take a look at the Falcons’ offense, defense and special teams performances after their Week 10 blowout loss to the Cowboys.

Offense

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Falcons went 0-7 on their first seven third-down attempts. An early field goal would be all the points Atlanta could muster. Quarterback Matt Ryan had two interceptions, the first of which was the fault of the receiver, but the second was an awful throw right to Trevon Diggs. Plus, there was a man wide open down the left sideline a few feet away. Arthur Smith benched Ryan for Josh Rosen, who couldn’t fare any better and threw a pick on his first drive.

Ryan finished nine of 21 for 117 yards and two interceptions, while Rosen completed just one of six passes for 14 yards and a pick. On the ground, the Falcons rushed for 103 yards on 24 carries. Wayne Gallman led the way with 55 rushing yards and another 21 yards on his only reception.

Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts caught four of six targets for 60 yards, while Olamide Zaccheaus led all receivers with just two catches on seven targets for 22 yards. Atlanta certainly missed Calvin Ridley on Sunday.

Defense

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

We’ve given the defense a lot of credit this season for bending but not breaking. However, on Sunday, the defense broke and then burst into flames. It was one of those games where both sides of the ball were in sync, just in a bad way. The Falcons were outmuscled up front, they couldn’t cover the Cowboys receivers and when they did get stops, Dallas successfully converted on fourth down.

Dante Fowler returned but it wouldn’t make a difference as Dak Prescott had all day in the pocket and led the Cowboys on five touchdown drives. Prescott threw for 296 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Dallas didn’t get much going on the ground, but the team seemed to be content getting the ball into the hands of its receivers in open space and daring the Falcons defenders to try and tackle them.

Atlanta also had no answer for CeeDee Lamb.

Special Teams

(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Possibly the ugliest play in an extremely ugly game was the blocked punt the Falcons allowed just before halftime that gave the Cowboys a 36-3 lead. Kicker Younghoe Koo made his only field goal attempt, a 35-yarder in the first quarter.

Punter Dustin Colquitt averaged 57.8 yards on his punts that weren’t blocked. All three phases really contributed to Sunday’s loss. Atlanta got almost nothing in the return game.

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