CHARLOTTE – With 8:20 to play in the fourth quarter and trailing 20-10, the Falcons were facing a pivotal fourth-and-7 on Sunday. Matt Ryan found his No. 1 receiver, Julio Jones, down the field for what looked to be an easy touchdown. Jones blew past his coverage and Ryan dropped a perfect ball into his receiver's hands.
But Jones bobbled the ball, eventually falling to the ground.
Incomplete. A rare moment for Jones.
"I didn't take advantage of the opportunity," Jones said. "I just missed it ... there's no excuses."
Had Jones caught the pass, the Falcons would have cut the lead to three points with plenty of time to get another scoring opportunity.
Jones said following the game that "one play doesn't define a game" and he's right. Atlanta had plenty of opportunities to come back and was unable to execute. A lack of possessions in the third quarter also halted any chances of the Falcons' offense gaining any momentum. The Falcons had two possessions in the third quarter, both resulting in three-and-outs.
And Jones knows that's not up to their standard.
"It's more about us," said Jones, who finished with six catches for a game-high 118 yards. "I think it was three possessions or so that we didn't do anything and we have to better. We are a way better offense than that."
Despite the drop by Jones, the Falcons still had their chances to come back thanks to a 50-yard catch by Taylor Gabriel and a 19-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman.
Atlanta got the ball back with two minutes to play – more than enough for Ryan & Co. to get into Matt Bryant's field goal position.
Atlanta's offense was unable to create any positive yardage on first, second and third down, so with 1:48 left, the Falcons had one final chance.
Ryan's pass to Gabriel on fourth-and-13 fell incomplete. And that would be the ball game.
Despite falling to 4-4 and 0-1 in the division, there's no concern coming out of the Falcons' locker room, but Jones knows with the remaining schedule Atlanta has, the execution has to come.
"I'm not concerned at all, but we have to get rolling," Jones said. "The looks were there today for us and we missed them."
The Falcons offense accounted for 366 total yards on offense and two touchdowns.