QB corner: Ryan has been slowed by dropped balls, third down stalls 

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QB corner: Ryan has been slowed by dropped balls, third down stalls 

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan believes the offense is not far off form putting up massive numbers like last season.

“We just have to keep practicing and working on it,” Ryan said on Wednesday. “I believe those plays are going to come.”

The Falcons are piling up yards, but are not scoring at a similar rate.

They are in the top half of the league in total yards (372, sixth), passing yards (257.5, sixth) and rushing (114.5, 13th). 

The Falcons are third in the league with 77 explosive plays (runs of 11 yards or more or passes of 15 yards or more). 

“We had maybe eight explosive pass plays,” Ryan said. “We’ve created some explosive plays and have the ability to do that.” 

One reason why the Falcons are sputtering on offense is because of dropped passes.

Some of the key drops this season was the one by Julio Jones in the endzone against Carolina in a three-point loss and tight end Austin Hooper losing a battle for the ball with Miami’s Cordrea Tankersley in another one-possession loss.

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and running back Tevin Coleman lead the team with three drops each. Jones, running back Devonta Freeman, tight end Austin Hooper and wide receiver Justin Hardy have two each. Tight end Levine Toilolo and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel have one each.

“I see how hard those guys work during the week and the amount of work that they put in to being the best,” Ryan said. “Sometimes it goes like that in sports. I know our guys and the competitors that they are and how talented that they are, I know they are going to make those plays for us moving forward.”

Ryan would like to see the run game improve, too.

“It’s critical for us to get that run game going,” Ryan said. “I think that we’re close. I really do. We had some good runs in the game the other day against a good defense that’s tough to run the ball against.”

Freeman’s numbers have been down since the bye week.

“It comes down to execution,” Ryan said. “Our run game is about combination blocking and those guys doing a great job and our backs being patient in setting up those blocks and then cutting off of them. We have to stick with it and trust that those runs are going to come.”

Dallas is expecting to see Ryan and the offense at their best.

“He’s obviously very talented throwing the football,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said of Ryan. “He has a clear idea about what he wants to do with their patterns verses the coverage that he sees. You can’t fool him very much because of how quickly he picks things up and how quickly it registers and he’s able to get the ball out of his hands. He just a big-time player.”

Quinn believes the offense can explode over the second half of the season.

“We were excited to see some of the red zone improvement, we worked hard on that part,” Quinn said. “But certainly the third down stalls in one that we are still working on to get corrected, to get right.

“We like the explosives that we are gaining, but third down is one that we are digging too hard.”

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