Falcons defense fails late again, gives up game-winning A.J. Green TD in shootout loss to Bengals

The Atlanta Falcons offense is humming like it’s 2016.

Unfortunately for Matt Ryan and Co., their defense is atrocious.

A.J. Green rips Falcons’ hearts out

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton found a wide-open A.J. Green in the end zone Sunday with six seconds remaining to cap a 16-play, 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in a 37-36 win over Atlanta.

Bengals WR A.J. Green snuck through a soft zone in the final seconds to score a game-winning TD against the Falcons. (Getty)
Bengals WR A.J. Green snuck through a soft zone in the final seconds to score a game-winning TD against the Falcons. (Getty)

It’s the second week in a row that the Falcons scored at least 35 points at home. It’s also the second week in a row they lost by giving up a last-minute touchdown in a shootout.

Back-to-back brutal losses for Falcons

Last week saw the Falcons lose in gut-wrenching fashion to the New Orleans Saints by giving up a game-tying Drew Brees rushing touchdown in regulation before Brees led the game-winning drive in overtime of a 43-37 victory.

Much like the Bengals’ decisive drive Sunday, New Orleans won that game with a methodical 15-play, 80-yard march.

For Falcons fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sunday must have felt like a bad case of déjà vu.

Big-time Atlanta offense not enough

Ryan was outstanding, throwing for 349 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Rising star wide receiver Calvin Ridley came up big again with 54 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Julio Jones had a monster game with 173 yards on nine catches.

But it was all for naught, as Dalton threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner, to put the Bengals in the driver’s seat in the AFC North at 3-1. Giovani Bernard did an admirable job again filling in for an injured Joe Mixon, tallying 96 total yards and a pair of touchdowns while Tyler Boyd caught 11 passes for 100 yards.

The loss drops the Falcons to 1-3 in an uber-competitive NFC South, a hole that could prove too deep to dig out of if they can’t figure out how to slow down opposing offenses.

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