If your defense can’t get off the field on third downs in the NFL you will not win. On Sunday the Falcons inability to get off the field against the Bears hurt their chances of coming back and winning after being down 13-3 in the first half. Jay Cuttler looked like a Hall of Fame QB vs the Falcons on Sunday finishing with a 109.6 QB rating. He completed passes all over the field to five different receivers. Alshon Jeffery had 136 yards reciving catching five balls from Cuttler and Brandon Marshall added 113 on six receptions. Jeffery averaged 27.2 yards a catch. Yes, I blame the Falcon offense for all the drop balls and their inabilty to move the chains when they needed too. The Falcons were 4-for-13 in third down situations. Meanwhile Cuttler and the Bears made play after play to keep drives alive.
* Third-and-15 at the Chicago 24 with 7:22 left in first quarter: Cutler hits Alshon Jeffery on a 19-yard completion.
* Third-and-6 at the 50 with 7:04 left in second quarter: Cutler finds Brandon Marshall for a 47-yard completion.
* Third-and-7 at the Chicago 49 with 1:18 left in the second quarter: Cutler connects with Marshall on a 15-yard reception.
* Third-and-11 at the Chicago 36 with :06 left in third quarter: Cutler completes a pass to Martellus Bennett for a 25-yard gain.
* Third-and-4 from the Atlanta 33 with 13:42 left in the fourth quarter: Cutler hits Jeffery for a 10-yard gain.
This was not the only problem for the Falcons Sunday, but its a major reason why they did not win. This season in college football the Tennessee Vols even have a song for 3rd downs base off the Lil John hit “Turndown for what” The Vols rock “Third Down for What” over the sound system at Neyland to help get the crowd into the game and help their defense get off the field. 3rd downs matter!
Hey Falcons: “Third down for what?”