There's been a lot of talk about the Falcons and their ability to score in the final moments of games this season. For three straight weeks Atlanta has scored late in the fourth quarter to take a win from the opponent. Atlanta has been finishing strong in games for quite a while now.
Since 2008 the Falcons rank fifth in the NFL with 93 points in 83 possessions inside two minutes at the end of the first half or a game. Atlanta trails the Saints, Giants, Eagles and Colts. Being able to put points on the board entering halftime has been vital to the Falcons four-year run of success under head coach Mike Smith. Since '08 under Smith, the Falcons are 40-2 when they lead at halftime.
It may not be a surprise the Falcons are one of the best two-minute offenses in the league, but the defense is pretty strong in the final two minutes of the first half and of the game, as well. This was a problem area for the Falcons during the 2008 season, but since 2009 the Falcons are second in the league in two-minute situations, allowing 31 points on 62 defensive possessions.
Entering the Oakland game in Week 6, the Falcons were first, allowing 17 points on 60 possessions. Giving up a score to end the half and the game inside two minutes to the Raiders caused the Falcons to fall to second, behind the St. Louis Rams, who have allowed 26 points on 64 possessions.
This season the Falcons have allowed scores on four of 14 possessions in two-minute situations. Against the Redskins in Week 5, they stopped the Redskins twice inside of two minutes at the end of the game with two interceptions.
In 2011, the Falcons allowed just three points in these situations and they came in Week 11 against the Titans. Before that score, they had not allowed points since Week 13 of the 2010 season.