The New England Patriots put up a 17-0 lead over the Atlanta Falcons by halftime.
The game is a rematch of Super Bowl LI. The Falcons had a successful 4th down conversion on their second drive thanks to a scramble by quarterback Matt Ryan. While puzzling, it somehow worked.
But their luck ran out just before halftime. On 4th-and-6, Ryan threw to Mohamed Sanu, but it looked like a miscommunication. Sanu stopped on his route and attempted to jump for the catch. The turnover on downs set up an eventual Patriots touchdown as Tom Brady and the Patriots marched 53 yards down the field. Brady threw to James White for the touchdown.
Twitter was confused about the Falcons' decision to go for it:
#Falcons calling plays on 4th down like it's Madden..... stop.— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) October 23, 2017
If you punt, that doesn't happen and it's 10-0. Someone make Quinn answer for that ... please. #Falcons— Mark Zinno (@MarkZinno) October 23, 2017
The first thing you must be to beat the Patriots is smart...and giving Tom Brady half a field to work already up 2 scores was way dumb.— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) October 23, 2017
There is no way to justify what the Falcons did twice in the 1st half on 4th down.....what is the mindset other than desperate? https://t.co/s7UXvAljTY— steakshapiro (@steakshapiro) October 23, 2017
Is it foggier @GilletteStadium or in Dan Quinn’s head? Second fourth down try, from midfield, was epically dumb.— Dale Arnold (@DaleEArnold) October 23, 2017
#Patriots broadcast team said Julio Jones had a blow up on the sideline after that fourth down play.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 23, 2017
Even former Falcons receiver Brian Finneran couldn't understand the decision.
Baffling just crazy to do that there. Blew my mind!! So dumb https://t.co/qwJJeAD90z— Brian Finneran (@BFinn86) October 23, 2017