Falcons’ Arthur Smith: ‘We gotta make the plays’

Here’s what Falcons coach Arthur Smith had to say after the 34-30 loss to the Washington Football Team Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:

On the offense stalling late in the game: ”Obviously frustrating when you don’t finish games. We had multiple opportunities to win that game. We didn’t. The drive, the second to last offensive drive, right, that was the one that we moved the ball a little bit and then we had the third down call. Right? The one they picked up? Yeah. They picked that up. We punted and we just have to do a better job. We had plenty of chances to go pick the ball. We didn’t. You have give Washington credit. They made plays when they had to. Quarterback extended plays. He threw them up there and their guys came down.”

On RB Cordarrelle Patterson not being in the game for the final play: ”It’s more of a protection thing. We believe in the guys that are out there. There’s a couple of things we have, multiple packages. It’s not one play. It’s situational. And we feel pretty good about Kyle going up, playing big-boy ball with Hayden [Hurst] and [Calvin] Rid[ley]. And those things get packaged, and there’s something there that we wanted for O.Z. and Mike, if we had gotten the look; we didn’t. So that was a thought.”

On utilizing RB Mike Davis late in the game: ”You trust him. A lot of it is about ball security. CP does a lot of good things for us, and it’s Mike or Gallman. Those are guys you trust there in four-minute. Again, we didn’t get off the blocks, and so they back us up, and you have evaluate whether or not – and obviously hindsight is 20/20. Sure, you pick it up; screen, whatever. So, yeah, I’ll go back and look at it. What should I have done different? It’s all fair. But we trust Mike Davis. That’s why he’s in there. It’s about ball security, making the right decisions, making the right reads. That one is pretty obvious.”

On RB Cordarrelle Patterson’s overall performance: ”Patterson had a good game. He was very effective in multiple roles for us, and CP is a good football player. But it’s hard to say right now. You lose a game like that. Define the bright spots. There’s always bright spots. Tomorrow you go through the film, things we gotta work on, and we gotta get a lot of things fixed in a hurry.“

On his message to guys about finishing the game: ”We gotta make the plays. They throw you the ball, you gotta come down with them. The history of the NFL. You drop, for sure, interceptions, sadly, you’ve seen a lot of their outcome. We get them down there. Credit to Washington. They extended the plays, like the one he found the running back late. It was a play extension. Guy leaked out. We don’t make the play; they do. They get the touchdown to go ahead. Same with the one to McLaurin. I think he was throwing into the windows there and ball came down and they came up with the play. That was the difference late.”

On missed tackles on defense: ”I don’t know if it’s missed tackles. I mean maybe it’s missed opportunities to really affect the quarterback. We gave them probably too much time.”

On the split of carries among the running backs: ”We dressed Gallman. We wanted to see Wayne get it. We had multiple packages for CP. So we took an extra running back in the game. Tried to get some more carries out of it. Again, I’d have to evaluate tomorrow, but it’s part of the — as we look at our roster week to week, what do we think the matchups are. You don’t want to overuse guys in certain spots when they can help you somewhere else. So it all goes into it.”

On the difference between the two halves: ”Gotta give them credit. They made the plays. I don’t think it was anything great schematically. Their biggest plays came a lot of times on play extensions. So we gotta go look at the film, see where the breakdowns were. The quarterback gets out. We knew he went to run and he could extend it. You gotta give credit to them, but we gotta do a better job with our rush plans. I just have to go back and look at the film. But you gotta give them credit. They made the plays. They extended them. That’s probably right now snap judgment the biggest difference.”

On late touchdown to Washington WR Terry McLaurin: ”There are certain packages of rotations. T.J. is a big guy. Obviously they made the play; we didn’t.”

On CB Isaiah Oliver’s injury: ”I don’t right now. Obviously, he didn’t come back in the game. Tomorrow we’ll get him and Eric evaluated and give you more there.”

On whether that’s the same with P Cam Nizialek’s injury: ”Yeah. We just have to look.”

On the defense late in the game: “There’s multiple things. I’m not going to get into schematically. A lot of times you gotta adjust. As much different formations they give you, you can package certain things. Again, I’ll have to go back and look at the film.”

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Falcons’ 2021 schedule features trip to London, January trip to Buffalo

Atlanta Falcons Schedule

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington FT 34, Falcons 30

New York Jets vs. Falcons in London, Oct. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

Bye Week

Falcons at Miami Dolphins, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.

Here’s the rest of full schedule