Falcons' defensive effort against Chiefs gives hope for the future

4:12 PM ET

The Atlanta Falcons put up one of the best defensive performances of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, but couldn’t close out yet another game in a 17-14 loss.

We knew going into this game that the Falcons defense was much improved, but the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes were going to be a different kind of test. Given how much the Chiefs have embarrassed some defenses this season, it’s safe to say that the Falcons passed that test.

Atlanta came out strong in the first half as they’ve done many times this season. Mahomes went 0-of-5 on passes of 10-plus air yards in the first half, after having completed multiple passes of 10-plus air yards in all but one game during his career (2019 at Broncos when he was injured).

The Chiefs scored their first points with 30 seconds left in the first half — the latest into a regular-season game they have recorded their first points with Mahomes at quarterback. The Falcons also held the Chiefs to just 7 points through three quarters, their fewest through three quarters since Week 11 of the 2017 season.

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