The Atlanta Falcons found another unbelievable way to lose on Sunday afternoon.
After staying close with the one-loss Kansas City Chiefs all game long, Matt Ryan led the two-minute drill to perfection, setting up the opportunity for a game-tying field goal. Unfortunately, Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo stepped up and pushed a 39-yard field goal wide right with 11 seconds remaining. Atlanta fell to a devastating 4-11 record with the 17-14 loss.
The missed kick was just the latest late-game mistake to cost the Falcons another win. Atlanta has now lost nine games in 2020 by one score.
After the game, interim head coach Raheem Morris was asked what he said to Koo after the miss. The Falcons leader apparently handled the situation with grace and showed compassion to the young kicker.
"You go hug him and tell him you love him," Morris said,
Raheem Morris on his response to Younghoe Koo missing the kick: "You go hug him and tell him you love him."
— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) December 27, 2020
">courtesy of Falcons reporter William McFadden.
Anything different from Morris would've been shocking.
Koo established himself as one of the most reliable kickers in the league, despite handling the field goal responsibilities for just over a year. Prior to Sunday's miss, he was 34-for-36 this season in addition to just three failed PAT's. At 26, Koo already earned a spot on this year's Pro Bowl team.
For the Falcons, 2020 will be a season to quickly flush and forget. The year began with an 0-5 start and led to the firing of head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Atlanta never seemed to recover from a 28-3 blown lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI and carried the bad luck into more and more close losses. This year has been marred by late game collapses with Koo being the latest to make a mistake.
The Falcons will get one more chance to end the 2020 season on a high note. Morris and Atlanta will travel to Tampa Bay to take on Tom Brady's Buccaneers in a rematch of a close Week 15 NFC South game.
After that, like many of us, the Falcons will look forward to a brighter future in 2021.