Falcons Fam I know you were expecting the Falcons to play much better with Mohamed Sanu coming back from hamstring injury. A poor New England Patriots defense who were missing two cornerbacks.
We just knew Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman would have a big day, but they ended up having the worst game of the season.
1-4 in the red zone.
2-9 on third downs.
Dan Quinn was upset about how his team performed in possibly the biggest game of the season.
Third down and red zone were certainly huge factors. The stats are there. We know it by now. It’s not good enough. 13 points could have been scored, if you look at the missed and blocked field goal. I believe the preparation and process has been on point. The execution hasn’t been there. We are going to work relentlessly on it. This is a resilient group. It’s time we show that again.
We were clear about how we wanted to go out and attack. The coaches had a clear understanding of how we wanted to go out and play. We did take some chances on some fourth down opportunities. We felt that was the right thing to do. In the first half, we made one and missed one. I wanted to make sure that we were going to continue to give our guys opportunities to play.
Matt Ryan’s accuracy downfield continues to be the theme on offense. Missed throws to Julio Jones Mohamed Sanu should be taken into account when you talk about Steve Sarkisian play calling.
If you hit at least one those plays we’re talking about a completely different ball game.
Here’s Matt Ryan thoughts –
I had a chance to hit Mohamed Sanu on third down in the red zone. He ran a good route. I overthrew him by a hair. That one stood out big time. It’s a play I know I can make. When you are playing a great team like New England, those are the tight coverage throws you got to hit. We had an opportunity to hit Julio on a corner route in the right side of the end zone as well. That one got away from me. We had chances to make plays. We just didn’t make them. The game would have shaken out differently, if we made those plays.
It’s a tale of being inconsistent. We aren’t the team I think we are going to be. I believe we have the right players with the right mindset to get back to where we normally are. I’m confident in our guys. There were some downfield opportunities. We just haven’t connected. It’s a long season. With my experience in this league, I know you have to get better as the season goes on. That’s where our mindset must be at this point.
A fourth and goal jet sweep call to WR Taylor Gabriel is I’m still trying to figure out. Sarkisian has Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman at his disposal and he dials up a jet sweep to 160 pound wide out in Taylor Gabriel, arguably the worst call of the night.
Here’s what Dan Quinn had to say about that call.
We thought they had all the big guys inside and thought we could get the ball outside on the edge. We had difficulty getting movement against those big guys inside during the entire game. We took a shot to try to get the ball outside on the perimeter. They made a better play than us.
Tevin Coleman under Sarkisian is not the game changing dual threat we’re used to seeing.
Here’s what Quinn has to say about getting Coleman more involved in the offense.
I understand the concern. When you look at the stat sheet, his production isn’t where you would expect it to be. We are going to work on it going forward. Tevin is a big part of our offense. We need to keep incorporating him and Freeman into the passing game. It’s something I highly believe in.
This all comes back to getting right back to work. In terms of getting the specific parts of the situational game right. We’ve had some things that crept up early on. We didn’t run the ball like we are capable of. We had some turnovers in recent games, but that was not the case tonight. This falls on us as an entire group.
Julio Jones isn’t worried about the critics saying the Falcons aren’t a playoff caliber team. He remains confident in his team and says that they have to stick together.
The last few weeks hasn’t gone our way, but we got to keep building. We aren’t worried about the outside views. You can’t control the outside and those other external factors. You got to know who you are as a man and as a competitor. We are going to keep our strong bond and staying together. We can’t worry about expectations. It’s all about us.
We aren’t thinking about last year. That was a whole different football team. That was 2016. This is 2017. For us we got to keep working. We’ll get there, but we have to keep working. You have to keep going out and proving yourself. It’s about what’s going on play by play. You drop a ball. It’s time to move forward and get ready for the next one. It’s all about consistency and opportunity. We have the opportunity to go out there, have fun, and play with our brothers. Thing may be tough right now, but the opportunity is there for us to get it right.
Quarterback Matt Ryan believes the offense just needs to find some sort of rhythm, they will continue to stay aggressive and those opportunities will eventually turn in their favor.
Matt Ryan’s thoughts
I wouldn’t say we were tentative. The opportunities were there. We played aggressive. We just didn’t make plays. At the end of the day, that’s what you got to do. From a players’ standpoint, it comes down to those missed opportunities. When we get our chances, we got to make plays. We got some drives going. That has been the case for the last couple of games. Finishing hasn’t been there. We simply haven’t performed at the level I believe we are capable of.
I thought they played a lot more two shell coverages. They dropped eight quite a bit, while also playing a lot of man. They did a good job of keeping plays in front of them. Other than that, nothing really surprised me. I don’t think this is a letdown. Our energy is there during practices. We just got to figure out why we aren’t executing like we are capable of. It’s about being detailed and diligent in practice. To me that’s what will help the most. I don’t think there is a letdown from our staff or guys. The intent has been there. It’s the production that hasn’t matched the intent.