FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Coach Mike Smith says the Atlanta Falcons can't take much satisfaction from almost rallying against the San Francisco 49ers.
For Smith, Atlanta's season-long inability to play a mistake-free third quarter wiped out the gains made in an improved final period Monday night.
The Falcons have been outscored by 74 points in the second half this year, due to big plays allowed by the defense, abundant three-and-outs dragging down the offense and untimely penalties hurting both sides.
Such was the case against the 49ers, who capitalized on the miscues to keep Atlanta from winning consecutive games for the first time since last December.
Atlanta (4-11) has one last opportunity to change its second-half fortunes when playoff-bound Carolina (11-4) visits the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
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