ATLANTA — Rough turkey day loss for the Atlanta Falcons before a home crowd and a national television audience against their long-time rival New Orleans Saints, 26-18.
The defeat came only three weeks after the Falcons crushed the division leading Saints in New Orleans.
The Falcons recovered three onside kicks in the closing minutes of the game in a futile effort to try to try to catch up in the contest, but it was too little, too late.
A berth in the post-season is now out of reach for Atlanta.
A shoulder injury kept playmaker wide receiver Julio Jones out of the game, but Thursday's loss is sure to fuel more speculation about the future of Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn.
All eyes for Falcons fans are now on the future of the franchise.
Here's what other sports writers are saying about the Falcons following Thursday night's game:
- Falcons see what they have behind Julio Jones in tough loss - Vaughn McClure, ESPN
- New Orleans Saints clinch NFC South title with Thanksgiving win over Atlanta Falcons - Jim Reineking, USA Today
- More takeaways from the NFL on Thanksgiving: A good night to be a Saints fan - Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated
- The Falcons recovering three consecutive onside kicks was a Thanksgiving miracle - Charles Curtis, For The Win / USA Today
- Falcons convert back-to-back onside kicks as Saints caught sleeping on special teams - R.J. White, CBS Sports
- Falcons don't plan to park veteran stars - Darin Gantt, Pro Football Talk/NBC Sports
- Saints serve revenge cold in Thanksgiving feast of Falcons, but 'South not enough' - Rod Walker, The New Orleans Times-Picayune / NOLA.com
- Taysom Hill uses entire Saints toolbelt on ground, through air to devastate Falcons - Luke Johnson, New Orleans Advocate / NOLA.com
- Falcons' three onside kick recoveries more impressive than you thought - Will McFadden, AtlantaFalcons.com
- Falcons' biggest issue is still an issue - Matthew Tabeek, AtlantaFalcons.com
The Falcons new get to rest for ten days before taking on the Cam Newton-less Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta already knocked off Carolina once this year, blowing them out in Charlotte week-before-last 29-3.
Last year, the Falcons kicked them to the curb in both divisional outings, so there's hope that they can do well next week.
The Panthers (5-6 so far this season) are set to face the 2-9 Washington Redskins in Charlotte on Sunday.
Hopefully, Julio Jones will be healthy enough to rejoin the Falcons by next Sunday.
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