The Atlanta Falcons never stood a chance on this day.

The offense couldn't move the ball.

The defense couldn't stop the Baltimore Ravens' cadre of highly effective rushers.

Special teams was marginally effective, at best, throughout the game.

There also wasn't any sustained buzz inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, minus the 13 seconds of Vic Beasley magic.

Chalk it up to the stadium hangover from the previous night, when top-ranked Alabama roared back to beat UGA in a thrilling SEC title-game clash

Or, maybe it had more to do with Atlanta's anemic passing attack ... which didn't crack the easily attainable 100-yard mark until midway through the fourth quarter.

Put it all together, and the Falcons' 26-16 defeat to the Ravens was equal parts listless and baffling.

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It was also decisive, in terms of Atlanta (4-8, last place in the NFC South) surrendering all plausible scenarios for maybe stealing Wild Card #2 with a winning record.

Here's another porous stat to lament: Incredibly, the Falcons have lost their last seven home games to non-conference opponents.


Mercedes-Benz Stadium may be the site of Super Bowl 53 (February) and a shiny beacon of the NFL universe, but that doesn't mean the Falcons are invulnerable to fan indifference.

Around kickoff time (1 p.m. EST), a number of embedded reporters tweeted out the sea of empty red seats, which could be attributed to the following factors:

1) Late-arriving crowd
2) The audience spent extra time perusing the concourse amenities of the Falcons' $2-billion plus stadium.
3) It was a lovely weather day in Atlanta (hence the open roof)
4) The Falcons' erratic play has sapped the life out of a fickle fan base. 

Yes, Atlanta made the Super Bowl two years ago and followed that up with a respectable playoff showing; but this current version of the Falcons hasn't shown much fight since the surprisingly easy road rout of the Redskins four weeks ago.

You remember that day, right?

Encountering one of the league's best defenses, the Falcons shredded the Redskins for 38 points, 491 total yards (337 passing), 6.4 yards per rush and a staggering success rate on third-down conversions (77 percent).

Fast forward to the present ...

**Atlanta didn't register an offensive touchdown
**Julio Jones caught only two balls for 18 yards
**The Atlanta tailbacks averaged 2.3 yards per carry
**The Ravens' rushing foursome consistently torched the Falcons' rush defense.

So, where does Atlanta go from here? Was Sunday's shellacking a fireable offense for any coaches or personnel executives?

If this isn't the case ... it's hard to envision things getting any worse.