Tim Mazzeti's 32-yard, second-chance field goal with no time remaining on the clock gave the Atlanta Falcons a 20-17 victory yesterday and left the Redskins hoping for a miracle to get them into the playoffs. Mazzetti, a 22-year-old former bartender, got his second chance after the Redskins' Perry Brooks had blocked his kick from 37 yards with two seconds showing, only to have Washington's Ron McDole called for jumping offside. Given another try, Mazzetti, picked off the waiver list six weeks into the season, kicked a field goal that provided the Falcons their fourth victory of the year with nine seconds or fewer to play. While Atlanta's victory did not clinch a playoff spot for the Falcons, it did put the Redskin chances in dire jeopardy. The only way Washington, now 8-7, can get a wild-card berth is for the Redskins to defeat the Chicago Bears Saturday and for Philadelphis (8-7) and either Green Bay (8-6-1) or Minnesota (8-6-1) to lose their final games of the season Sunday. Philadelphia plays the New York Giants in Philadelphia, Green Bay closes at Los Angeles and Minnesota finishes at Oakland. The Redskins lost their fourth straight and seventh in nine games. They were reduced to so much wishful thinking in large part because of several blunders in the kicking game and Falcon quarterback Steve Bartkowski's ability to burn Washington's nickel defense in two of the most flawlessly executed two-minute drills of this and or any other season. McDole's jumping offside was one of the game's gountless ironies. How many times had the Dancing Bear come leaping up the middle to block similar kicks? McDole said he jumped for a reason. "Their center (Paul Ryczek) lifts the ball when he snaps it," McDole said. "We went on that all day long. For some reason, they called it at the end." " a lot of centers do different things," added Redskin linebacker Pete Wysocki. "He (Ryczek) lifts the ball. We felt he moved the ball enough so that it was all part of his motion. We even alerted the referee at the start of the game. How premature was Ron? I couldn't see any movement. But like in any game, that play wasn't the only thing that killed us." No it wasn't There was another Redskin rarity -- a Mike Bragg punt blocked, by Rick Byas late in the third period. That was first time that had happened to the Redskin kicker in 365 punts dating back to the 1974 season. A fluky bounce of the ball as Byas attempted to recover in the end zone kept it from skidding out of bounds there -- a bounce that would have given the Falcons a safety. Instead, the football squirted back onto the field and out of bounds at the Redskin one. The Falcons took over from there. Two plays later Bubba Bean dove off tackle from a yard out for a touchdown and a 17-10 Atlanta lead with 24 seconds remaining in the third period. The Redskins could look at other plays to find reasons why they probably will remain home for the holidays. The trouble began on the opening kickoff when Dennis Pearson returned Mark Moseley's kick 39 yards to help set up Atlanta's first touchdown, a one-yard Haskel Stanbackrun. It continued when Washington's Terry Anderson was just caught from behind by the Falcons' Edgar Fields at the tail end oi a fake punt and pass by Bragg on fourth and 10 at the Redskin 40. Anderson covered 56 yards down the right sideline, but Fields yanked him out of bounds at the four. Benny Malone was stopped for no gain up the middle on first down and Joe Theismann threw two incomplete passes the next two. So the Redskins settled for Moseley's 21-yard field goal and a 10-7 lead. "It sure would have helped to get seven," admitted Coach Jack Pardee, "but you could say 'what if' all day." The Redskins were wondering "what if" again midway through the third period when Theismann hit fullback John Riggins with a pass at the Falcon 19-yard line, only to have Atlanta cornerback Rolland Lawrence rip the ball away from Riggins and return it six yards, preventing another Redskin score. "He just made a great play on me," Riggins said. "I went up for the ball and before I could get it put away, he (Lawrence) grabbed it and (Fulton) Kuykendall pulled my arms away. Actually, I was kind of expecting a shot in the kidneys from Lawrence, but give the guy credit. He made the right move." Still, the Redskins clawed their way back into the game midway through the final period, with Riggins, Theismann and Malone gaining most of the yards on foot. Theismann's 19-yard scramble up the middle to the Falcon 32 kept the drive alive and Malone's churning sprint around right end carried 31 yards to the one. From there, Mike Thomas lugged the football across the goal line, than was hit by safety Frank Reid, a crash that popped the ball loose. Atlanta recovered in the end zone, but officials ruled the ball had crossed the plane of the goal line and allowed the touchdown. Atlanta also had been detected for jumping offside, a penalty that would have nullified the fumble recovery, but that did not keep the home fans from booing loud and long when the touchdown was signaled, the extra point tying the game at 17-all with 6:58 to play. "To tell you the truth, when we scored that touchdown I thought we had the game under control," Riggins said. "They were waiting to be had. If we'd taken the ball and kicked a field goal, it would have been all over." But it wasn't. The Redskins had an excellent opportunity to take the lead on their next series, after Atlanta was forced to punt from its 14 and John James' 32-yard kick was taken by Anderson at the Falcon 38. On first down, Riggins gained three yards. But on second, Malone got mixed up on an audible signal from Theismann. "I was going to throw the football on the play, but we just crossed paths and it got messed up," Theismann said. After bumping into Malone, Theismann tried to run toward his right but was caught from behind by Dewey McClain and dropped for an eightyard loss back to the 43. "Joe checked off and I went the other (wrong) way," Malone said. "It was my fault totally." The botched play took the Redskins out of long field-goal distance, and when Theismann's pass intended for Thomas fell incomplete, Bragg punted away. The Redskins got the ball again on their 27 with 2:30 left, but on second down tight end Jean Fugett was called for holding. The Redskins could not get a first down and Bragg was forced to punt again. Atlanta took over at its 45, and Bartkowski went to work. At the end of the first half, he had marched his team to Mazzetti's 21-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, moving Atlanta with passes from its 30 to the Washington four in 100 seconds and tying the game at 10-all at intermission. Now he was at it again. And, once again, he seemed to be throwing into the area guarded by the redskins fifth defensive back, Gerard Williams. A nine-yard pass to Bean picked up a first down at the Redskin 40 with 1:20 to play. A two-yard run by Stanback picked up another first down at the 30 with 28 seconds left. The Falcons still were not in Mazzetti's range -- his longest kick this year was 39 yards -- but, two plays later, Bartkowski's 10-yard pass to a diving Billy Ryckmen (with Williams defending) got them to the 20. Mazzetti, the former margarita mixer, trotted onto the field. But before he could get off his 37-yarder, the Redskins called time. When he finally kicked, Brooks came from up the middle and blocked the boot, and the Redskins began celebrating. Too soon. The offside call on McDole was announced moments later, and Mazzetti's second shot was clearly through. His teammates carried him off the field, while several stunned Redskins simply lay on the ground, not moving for many seconds. Later, Pardee, his face ashen, described the defeat as awfully disappointing. "We went in figuring we had to win today to have hope for the playoffs. But the season isn't over yet. "Everybody played hard. I'm proud of the way we tried but we lost... They're a lucky team right now; they've had a lot of good breaks." Someone asked Pardee if the Falcons were a playoff-caliber team. "Soes the record indicate it?" Pardee said. "Yes," said the inquisitor. "Then they're playoff caliber," said Pardee. At the moment, the Redskins are not, barring miracles. Redskin special teammer Don Hover suffered a concussion in the secone quarter. He was taken to Piedmont Hospital and held overnight for observation.