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Falcons' short-yardage struggles prove costly

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Falcons' short-yardage woes in their first loss of the season stirred memories of similar struggles the last time they lost -- in the playoffs.

In each case, Atlanta couldn't come up with just one yard.

The Falcons couldn't score after they had a second down at the Saints' 1-yard line late in Sunday's 31-27 loss at New Orleans. The Falcons, who had been the NFL's last unbeaten team, fell to 8-1.

In the 24-2 loss at the Giants in last season's NFC wild-card game, the offense was stuffed on two fourth-and-1 quarterback sneaks and a third-and-inches run.

Center Todd McClure bristled Monday when asked if there were parallels between the two losses. McClure says the offensive line is unfairly blamed for the short-yardage struggles.


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