It would certainly appear that it's scraping the bottom of the barrel when you highlight the play of special teams in a 14-point road loss that seemingly ends a team's season. But when looking for positives from a game that saw few in the Falcons' favor, the special teams earned some recognition.
If the Falcons' mission was to keep dynamic return threat Patrick Peterson bottled up, then they accomplished their goal. Peterson had a pair of punt returns for minus-four yards.
If the Falcons' mission was to flip field position and force the Cardinals to have to drive the length of the field on several possessions, then they, again, accomplished their goal. The first two Cardinals possessions started inside their own 20-yard line after Matt Bosher's punts, and all three of his early kickoffs were touchbacks.
If the Falcons wanted to show they are capable of recovering an onside kick, then they, again, accomplished that goal. Bosher was able to recover his own kick after the Falcons' late fourth-quarter score. While the Falcons offense failed to capitalize, special teams did their job.
And finally, if the Falcons wanted to find a viable punt returner to replace Harry Douglas for the remainder of the season, they also accomplished that goal. Despite struggling at nickel cornerback through the first five games, Robert McClain now seems to have found a home on special teams.
He returned two punts for an average of 13.5 yards and also made an excellent play on another punt he did not return. He cleaned the clock of Justin Bethel, preventing the Cardinal cover man from downing a punt deep in Falcon territory.
If the Falcons special teams can maintain this level of play, and the rest of the team steps up for the remainder of the season, it should lead to a few more wins.