With 2:56 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Falcons trailing the San Francisco 49ers 17-13, Atlanta faced a 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Atlanta would attempt to punch it in with Devonta Freeman, or maybe use the play-action to let Matt Ryan make a play.
Instead, Dan Quinn chose to kick a field goal to make it a one point game. In turn, the Falcons defense couldn't stop the 49ers and Atlanta (as we know) lost 17-16. Now, Quinn is hearing plenty of questions about the decision.
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According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, Quinn didn't shy away from talking about the subject.
"The fourth-down play, I chose to kick it there and thought we were getting the stops defensively," Quinn told ESPN. "We'd get the kick, get the stops, use our timeouts and then go attack on offense. We're a really good two-minute team on offense. So that was the reasoning for it. We didn't stop them on the third down. They converted ... so I wanted to make sure I explained our thinking going into that one."
He continued on to talk about the faith he has in both his offense and defense, but this time, the defense unfortunately couldn't make the big stop.
"The way I chose do it on that one was to, 'Let's kick it, get the stop,'" Quinn reiterated. "I felt like we were stopping them, defensively, and we'd go stop [them] again and go in it that way. Looking back, yes, it's always a chance to second-guess. ... could have went either way. I chose to go the way to kick it and get a stop, go into two-minute. I have such belief in our guys, both offensively and defensively. That's the way I chose, and it didn't work out."
Whether or not it was the right call, well, that's a debate. With Freeman, Julio Jones and Ryan just three of the many offensive weapons for the Falcons, it's hard to imagine Atlanta not punching that one in. Regardless, Quinn and the rest of the team has moved on from the topic at this point.