Dan Quinn Calls Falcons' Collapses vs. Cowboys, Bears 'Nothing Short of Crushing'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2020

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn watches play against the Chicago Bears during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

It happened again.

A week after blowing a 20-0 lead against the Dallas Cowboys and losing, the Atlanta Falcons blew a 16-point lead Sunday against the Chicago Bears and lost 30-26, as Bears backup quarterback Nick Foles led the comeback.

"The last two weeks, and the endings of those, have been nothing short of crushing," head coach Dan Quinn told reporters after the game.

Quinn, who was also the team's head coach when it infamously blew a 28-3 lead against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI in 2017, added: "It falls on me in all spaces."

The Falcons are unparalleled when it comes to blowing leads. They've made it an art form:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Today marked the Falcons’ 5th loss when leading by at least 16 points since the start of 2016, including the playoffs. No other NFL team has more than 2 such losses over that span.

And while Quinn will likely face criticism for the blown leads, running back Todd Gurley made it clear the team's collapses are not on the coach.

"We know what he means to us," Gurley said. "We did not finish for him. We did not finish for each other. We did not finish for the Falcons. We did not finish for the brotherhood. This has nothing to do with him."

Atlanta's season is on the brink, with the team now 0-3. A Week 1 loss to the talented Seattle Seahawks could be forgiven, but blowing big leads the past two weeks has now cost Atlanta two wins and potentially suffocated its playoff hopes with less than a quarter of the season in the books.

Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports reported that "in the NFL's modern era, 2.7% of teams that start off with an 0-3 record make the playoffs."

How big was Sunday's loss? Zangaro added that "21.5% of teams that start off 1-2 make the playoffs."

That's a huge swing, though Matt Ryan isn't sounding the alarm bells just yet:

Alison Mastrangelo @AlisonWSB

Matt Ryan on if he's worried this teams identity has become about losing after large leads. "The entire story hasn't been told yet... but we need to change it ... that's for sure.. and that will start next week." - Matt Ryan #CHIvsATL #RiseUpATL

Kelsey Conway @FalconsKelsey

Matt Ryan: The frustrating part is that we haven’t been getting blown out, we haven’t finished the job.

Despite those comments, though, blowing big leads has clearly become a trend in the Quinn-Ryan era. If the Falcons don't find a way to play their way back into playoff contention, some major changes could be coming in Atlanta.