Playoff prospects are looking dim. A disappointing 27-10 loss to the Birmingham Predators has the Atlanta Firebirds on the outside looking in at 5-6.
“Birmingham is a great team, and we played like we were afraid of them,” said Atlanta coach Rob Ryan. “We can beat a team like that, but we played like we didn’t want it.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Firebirds opened the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Matt Barkley to Derrick Griffin. Birmingham tied the game, and Atlanta pulled back in front on a 36-yard Wil Lutz field goal. With four minutes left in the first half, it would be their final points of the night.
Birmingham surged for 10 points in the last two minutes of the half, and the Firebirds went dormant after the break, getting shut out 10-0 in the second half.
“We’ve been unable to close out games in the second half all year,” said Ryan. “I wish I had the answer, but I’m stumped.”
Matt Barkley finished the night 19 of 29 passing for 230 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Matt Breida was shut down with just 24 yards on 10 carries.
Cameron Meredith led the wideouts with 5 catches for 108 yards.
Mark Herzlich and Jarvis Jones tied for the team lead with 7 tackles. The Firebirds were held without a sack or an interception.