Two football teams from Georgia blew second-half leads to teams playing their backup quarterback in the latest sign that they can’t have nice things.
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. That’s the cry being shouted from the greater Atlanta area right now after the Atlanta Falcons blew another second-half lead to be eliminated from the playoffs. This comes less than a week after the Georgia Bulldogs blew a 13-0 halftime lead over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship Game to lose 26-23 in overtime.
As if the losses by the Falcons and Bulldogs weren’t heartbreaking enough, it’s even worse when you consider both comebacks were orchestrated by the winning team’s backup quarterbacks.
First, it was Tua Tagovailoa coming off the bench to start the second half for Alabama. He threw three touchdowns, including the 41-yarder in overtime to win the game. For the Eagles, it was Nick Foles who has been the team’s starting quarterback since Carson Wentz went down late in the regular season.
And this is all on top of last year’s Super Bowl when the Falcons famously blew a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
If there’s a silver lining for Atlanta sports fans, it’s that the Atlanta Hawks are playing so poorly that they may be in a position to win the NBA Draft Lottery and pick a potential generational talent.
Unfortunately, that’s the only silver lining for sports fans in the state of Georgia because it has been an absolutely devastating last few days.
I’m not sure which loss is worse, but I’m siding with the one in the championship game. Although, it’s hard to discount the fact that practically everyone was putting the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game because they put zero respect on Nick Foles’ name and just assumed they’d waltz to a win.
I guess they didn’t get the memo that football games are won and lost on the field and despite the loss of Wentz, the Eagles offensive line mauled the Falcons front seven and the Eagles defense made life miserable all game long for Matt Ryan who was limited to 22/-of-36 passing for 210 yards and one touchdown and DeVonta Freeman who was held to seven yards on 10 carries. That’s a robust .7 yards per carry average. You’re not going to beat anyone with that little production.
Take it from this lifelong Cubs fan, it does get better, and these heartaches will make celebrating a championship, whenever it may come, will be even sweeter for having endured these trials.