It would have been fair if the Atlanta Falcons accepted defeat with 0:56 left in the third quarter this past Sunday.
Sure, a whole quarter remained, but a team that had mustered 12 points through three quarters would need at least 13 in the final period to rally for a win. Unfortunately for all of the cynics out there, that's exactly what the Falcons did, mounting a fourth-quarter comeback that had a little bit of everything to beat the Green Bay Packers, 25-24.
Given a couple of days to bask in the glow of their efforts and an opportunity to remark on the win, receiver Drake London was blunt: Don't count out the Falcons.
"I don't know if y'all could feel it, but I felt like maybe Green Bay felt like they put us in the casket a little early," London told Adam Schein during a Wednesday appearance on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio. "This team, don't ever count us out. We're going to still fight until we can't fight no more, and that goes back to our motto -- again, I'm gonna keep on saying it -- burn the boats. We're a well-conditioned team, we're an aggressive team, and we're gonna go out there and give you our best for the whole time being. And I think that's kind of where we caught them in the second half."
There have been a number of times in history when an invading force has made landfall, and its commander has confidently given their army one choice, and one choice only: Proceed forward. There is no point of return, as London referenced in mentioning a burning of boats.
These Falcons played like it Sunday. While Green Bay hunkered down and attempting to protect its lead, Atlanta overwhelmed the opposition, outgaining the Packers 166-11 in the final quarter. The Falcons converted 3 of 7 third downs, quarterback Desmond Ridder caught fire (completing 6 of 8 passes for 119 yards), and as momentum built in favor of the home team, it became clear this battle was far from decided.
Facing a starving adversary with no choice but to fight to the end, the Packers crumbled, none more apparent than when quarterback Jordan Love committed a false start on a fourth-down sneak attempt, forcing the Packers to punt the ball back to the Falcons and allowing Atlanta to mount one final scoring drive to take a lead that once seemed unlikely.
These Falcons embody their coach, Arthur Smith, an individual who unabashedly coaches in his own style. He does not give much thought to how those outside of the organization view him and his staff. And they're 2-0 because of it.