5 (not good) takeaways from Falcons’ loss to Lions

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons took one on the chin Sunday in the Motor City.

The offense was smacked around and kept out of the end zone. The defense was dissected by Detroit quarterback Jared Goff for a half. A blown coverage led to a big touchdown.

“That was a tough loss,” Falcons safety Richie Grant said. “We got beat. We just have to keep stacking. We can’t let one loss define the season. It definitely was a tough loss. We are going to learn from this one.”

Here are five takeaways from the loss to the Lions:

1. Falcons pressure: While the Lions were treating Desmond Ridder like a tackling dummy, the Falcons refurbished defense did not get a sack.

“Basically, we were just doing the thing,” Falcons outside linebacker Bud Dupree said. “Making sure that we were getting to the football and covering when we were supposed to. Making sure we were keeping contain.”

The Falcons did get nine hits on Goff.

“He’s more athletic than you think,” Dupree said. “Hats off to them for making the adjustment.”

In addition to getting more sacks, the defense may need to create more turnovers.

“You can always get more turnovers,” Dupree said. “We can work on that aspect of it. All of the great defenses, they create turnovers. We have to do that as much as we can. We have to make sure that we make that happen.”

The secondary felt the pressure was decent at times.

“We got a couple of hits on him, so it wasn’t always the time,” Grant said. “That’s a vet quarterback. If you give him a little time, he’s definitely going to take advantage of it.”

The defense made adjustments at halftime and slowed the Lions down until they got a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We were just trying to mix up coverages,” Grant said. “We tried to give Goff some different looks. We weren’t trying to sit in shell and show our hand. A little movement. Just mix it up on him so that we are just not sitting there and giving him easy reads.”

2. The offensive line breakdown: The Falcons’ offensive line gave up seven sacks, eight quarterback hits and only averaged 2.2 yards per carry in the run game.

“It’s was no fun,” right guard Chris Lindstrom said. “We understand that.”

The offensive line will attempt to regroup this week.

“It’s never as good as it seems and never as bad as it seems,” Lindstrom said. “So, you’ll just have to be objective. We are going to go through (the film on Monday). Make our corrections and get our mind’s right for Jacksonville.”

Left guard Matthew Bergeron was beaten by Detroit’s Aidan Hutchinson for one of the sacks.

When you find a rhythm, things go a little bit smoother,” Bergeron said. “When you’re off track, off balance, you put yourself in certain situations and it’s an obvious passing down. We had seven sacks. That might be a part of being off rhythm. Being off track. We have to do better next week.”

3. Robinson kept under control: Running back Bijan Robinson was held to 57 total yards after massing 83 against the Panthers and 172 against the Packers.

“We have to go out there and set the tone in the run game and pass game,” Robinson said.

In addition to the pass protection issues, the offense failed in the red zone (o of 1).

“It just us trying to understand each other,” Robinson said. “Understand what we’ve got. I think we have some good offense…we have to get in that rhythm and get it together. We have to capitalize on what we’ve done.”

4. Linebacker shuffle: With Troy Andersen suffering a shoulder/pectoral muscle injury, the Falcons will turn to Nate Landman at inside linebacker.

Landman made his first NFL start against the Packers and finished with four tackles.

“I’m always ready to go,” Landman said. “I was ready to go last week. Ready to go each week. Prepare each week as a starter. The coaches do a great job of getting us ready.”

He will team up inside with Kaden Elliss, who leads the Falcons with 25 tackles.

“Kaden is a great leader,” Landman said. “We kind of run the show out there. It’s great to be able to bounce things off of him and have confidence. We really can just lean on each to get the job done.”

Smith said Andersen’s outlook for the rest of the season was not good.

“This isn’t the way I wanted to be on the field, losing Troy,” Landman said. “But next man up mentality. Everyone on this roster is a starter. Everybody is just waiting for their opportunity. Now, it’s my opportunity to go make the most of this situation that we’re in.”

5. Film review of the sacks: Smith did a film review of the seven sacks.

“Three happened on play-action,” Smith said. “We held one and that was a coverage sack. We certainly can execute better....two were quick-hitters on the rush. There was the one where he held the ball. That’s kind of how they broke down.”

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