The Falcons' 2012 season pretty much ended with a fourth-down incompletion from San Francisco's 10-yard-line in the NFC championship.
The Falcons' 2013 season opener ended with a fourth-down interception at the New Orleans goal line following a third-down would-be dropped touchdown pass from the three-yard-line.
The Falcons' lost their season opener Sunday to the Saints' 23-17. It was only one game of 16 and the Falcons will get a return shot at the Saints later this season. But after going 0-4 in the preseason and having the offensive line central to most concerns about the team throughout the offseason, nothing that happened in the Superdome eased those fears.
Notwithstanding the close ending, the biggest reason the Falcons were held to 17 points was poor pass protection. Matt Ryan was sacked three times, hurried on several other throws and was hit hard and often.
My column on the game includes some pretty strong comments from center Peter Konz and guard Justin Blalock, as well as some curious words from maligned right tackle Lamar Holmes, who seems to be in somewhat denial about the problems.
I also appreciated the honest comments from wide receiver Roddy White, who referred to the Falcons' much hyped offense's 17-point output as "terrible."