Blaming the officials isn’t an adequate excuse for losing, but the Atlanta Falcons certainly didn’t get any favors from the referees during the late stages of their 26-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
In fact, it’s safe to say the Falcons got hosed by the refs on 4th down at their own 25-yard-line. On 4th and 10, Matt Ryan hoisted a deep pass down the middle of the field to Julio Jones, who nearly came up with an insane one-handed catch.
The problem was Jones couldn’t use his other hand to catch the ball because Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was holding it. It was obvious pass interference, but no flags were thrown.
It’s safe to say Falcons coach Dan Quinn was irate over the non-call, and rightfully so. Quinn was all over the nearest official after the play, but his yelling and screaming couldn’t change the outcome. The Seahawks took three knees and sealed the deal.
— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) October 16, 2016
Quinn was much more reserved after the game and chose not to get into the final play, according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
The Falcons trailed for most of the game and were down 17-3 at halftime before rattling off 21 unanswered points to take 24-17 lead. The Seahawks scored what looked to be the game-tying touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but the Falcons blocked to ensuing point-after try to preserve a one-point lead.
Three plays later was when the game took a turn for the worse for Atlanta, when Ryan’s pass clanked off of Jones’ hands and was picked off by a lurking Earl Thomas. The Seahawks took advantage of the takeaway when Steven Hauschka drilled the eventual game-winning field goal.
So while the horrendous non-call might have spoiled any chance of an Atlanta comeback, the Falcons gave the game away long before the inexcusable missed call.