Mike Smith wanted to kick just before Ryan’s backbreaking pick

The playoff editions of SoundFX on NFL Network are always good for a few revealing moments.

Last year gave us Saints coach Sean Payton memorably finding issue with Mike Bell’s cleats.  A clip from the Falcons-Packers game won’t go down as a funny memory, but more a painful one for Falcons fans.

One play before Matt Ryan’s crushing interception returned for a touchdown just before halftime, Smith wanted to kick a field goal.  There were ten seconds left in the half.  (Skip to 3:25 to watch the sequence.)

“We gotta kick the field goal.  Field goal!” Smith said, pointing towards the field.

After hearing a voice in his ear, presumably offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, Smith relented.

“You want to take one shot?  Throw it out of bounds if it’s not there.  We gotta get the field goal,” Smith said.

Ryan, of course, didn’t throw it out of bounds.   Smith slammed his play sheet to the ground, and the game was essentially over.

If it makes Smith or offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey feel any better, we don’t think that mistake really made a difference with the way Aaron Rodgers was playing last Saturday.

12 responses to “Mike Smith wanted to kick just before Ryan’s backbreaking pick

  1. Because “matty ice” is a good quarterback. Just because he lost to the Packers doesnt all of a sudden mean he is a choke artist or a bad qb. The Falcons got the number one seed by being generally healthy all season, and winning several games by 3 points or less. The Packers were the better team, and they played that way last weekend. Matt Ryan didn’t do anything in my mind that would make me think less of him. He is still better than Mark Sanchez.

  2. Nah. Can’t fault Smith for that. There was 10 seconds left – plenty of time for an incompletion if no one was available.

    Put that blame back on Matty Icicle’s shoulders.

  3. That play was a killer. A columnist on ESPN had a great “Bad Coaching Call of the Week” writeup of this very play.

    He explained that with no timeouts, Ryan could not spike it, take sack or throw it in the middle of the field. So, he either had to go endzone or touchdown and this gave the solid Packers D very few routes they needed to cover. Ryan definitely forced it in as he should have just thrown it out of bounds, but the call never should have been made with Matt Bryant sinking 8 of 11 FGs over 40 yards.

    @kevo126: Look at his record. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes like he did in the Packers game. And, even when he makes mistakes, he puts them behind him quickly. He is a smart quarterback that can make all the throws and he is very cool under pressure. His has a very strong work ethic and puts a lot of time into studying defenses as well as the great quarterbacks in the league. Some people think he is a glorified game manager, but in Atlanta’s run first offense, he is never going to put up the Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning type numbers. They do not ask him to win every game with his arm, although several times he has with clutch 4th quarter comebacks.

    No, he has not won a playoff game, although I will contend that the playoff loss in Arizona should rest on the shoulders of the defense as Lawyer Milloy and Keith Brooking got beat several times for a lot of yards. As Atlanta’s D continues to improve, this team should be in the playoffs for a long time. Is Matt Ryan elite? No, but he is right on the cusp.

  4. It’s crazy to think that a game comes down to one play. If you do all the right things over the course of a game to win it, it shouldn’t come down to one botched play. Play better for 60 minutes so it doesn’t come down to a lucky bounce or an interception at the end.

  5. It was a huge momentum shift going into the half. Mike Smith should have stayed with his gut and kicked it. Cut the score to 21-17 and the Falcons are still in it going into the half. Smith should have told the guy on the other line to tell Matt Ryan to throw it to freakin Korea if there’s nothing there, like VERY adamantly. They both had brainfarts at the worst possible time. Go Bears.

  6. Thanks for the article. Brought back such wonderful memories. The Falcon fans trudging out in the 3rd qtr of a blowout loss of their great # 1 seeded team…hahaha. I guess you still have to win the games on the field.

    SAINTS = 1

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