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Mike Smith: Falcons 'needed' TD before half vs. Jets


Hindsight is biased, but that won't stop the questions asking whether or not Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith should have kicked a field goal from the 1-yard line to end the first half of Monday night's 30-28 loss to the New York Jets.

Trailing 17-7 with seven seconds left in the half, Smith had a decision to make: Take the points or go for it on fourth down from the one.

"We felt like we needed to score a touchdown in that situation," Smith said, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We felt like we had an opportunity to do it and we didn't get it done."

A pass interference penalty gave the Falcons another chance to go for it -- or reconsider -- but running back Jacquizz Rodgers was buried short of the goal line to end the half.

"In hindsight, it is probably not the way we wanted it to work out, but that is the decision that we made," Smith admitted.

It was the second week in a row the Falcons declined a first-half field goal attempt near the goal line and failed to convert.

It's easy to point to the two-point loss and say a field goal would have made the difference. But we can't extrapolate hypothetical histories to affirm our own narratives. We don't know that, potentially down four points, Geno Smith wouldn't have driven the Jets down the field for a game-winning touchdown drive instead of pulling up for a field goal.

What we do know is that Mike Smith felt his team "needed" a touchdown in the first half of a game against a rookie quarterback; that conveys a lot about his faith in his defense's ability to get stops.

At 1-4 heading into the bye week, Smith undoubtedly will have that goal line play looping in his head.

"We simply came up short," Smith said of the loss. "We are disappointed, but we are not discouraged. Now we have to use this bye week to evaluate everything we do, keep on fighting."

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