Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall may be one of the best in the game at his position, but Sunday it was his mouth and on the field actions that may have sealed the fate of his now 0-3 team. Hall had been doing a standup job on Panthers wide out Steve Smith all afternoon, and with the Falcons leading 17-10 with half of the third quarter left, Hall turned in a series that he and the team would likely soon to forget.
First it was a 37-yard pass interference penalty that drew the ire from Hall. Then he slapped Smith in the head on a running play, drawing a 15-yard personal foul. The last penalty came after the Falcons defense stopped the Panthers drive, forcing an attempt at a field goal. As Hall was leaving the field, he started jawing at the refs, drawing another 15-yard foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The drive continued, the Panthers scored to make it 17-17, and then the gates seemed to open, leaving Atlanta with a 27-20 loss, leaving them at 0-3. Is Hall to blame for the loss? Well, he’s one of the reasons, and his lack of smarts is a reason among many that the Falcons season is now all but lost. There were even reports that Hall and a few teammates got into it physically in the locker room post game, and that his teammates have had enough of Hall’s “me” play on the field.
Hall brushed off the incident on the field, stating postgame: “A couple of freak plays, they were calls that could have easily gone the other way.” Sure, maybe if you wouldn’t have lost your cool. Warrick Dunn, who is seen as a team leader stated postgame – “You have to try to control yourself.” Too late for that, it’s already cost the Falcons in the worst way.