Falcons’ Desmond Ridder: ‘We just weren’t able to get anything going’

DETROIT -- Here’s what Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder had to say after the 20-6 loss to the Lions on Sunday:

On the expectations he has for the team and how he thinks they performed: “Yeah, we just weren’t able to get anything going. That’s something we struggled with earlier, especially in the – we’ll say in the first half of games throughout the season and that’s something that, obviously, we’ve got to work on improve is one, getting going early and then two, keeping it and keeping it going the entire game. And then I would also say three is just when we do get out there and struggle, we’ve got to be able to bounce back and bounce back fast.”

On his assessment of the performance of the offensive line and how he thinks he handled the ball: “Yeah, no, I’m not worried about those guys up front. Those guys did a great job. I’ve got to get the ball out of my hands quicker, got to make better reads. Things have to move and happen fast better out there, so all five of those guys, I love those guys. Those guys, they did great out there, so I wouldn’t put it on them, more so myself.”

On if he considers this game a ‘rude awakening’ after starting the season off 2-0: “Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s a rude awakening, more so just a test, and obviously we went out there and failed that test, so we were prepared. We just came out and we didn’t get anything going, so it wasn’t like we went out there and were just shocked by what happened. We obviously didn’t go there, and I wasn’t executing well enough and that’s what the end result comes to.”

On how the team can gain its confidence back after the loss today: “Yeah, just coming back to work tomorrow. We know where we want to be at the end of this season. We know what this team is supposed to look like, what we’re supposed to be and through three weeks, we haven’t even skimmed the surface of what we’re supposed to be. We haven’t even truly really played as a full team yet, whether it’s just defense doing what they need to do and creating turnovers and then offense just keeping it in the game. It’s never been the defense is making turnovers, the stops and the offense is also going out there and putting up explosive – putting up points. Special teams is changing the feel on everywhere, so I feel like we haven’t even played a full team game yet. We’ve had parts of games where we’re able to be great on offense, or be great on defense, or be great on special teams, but for four quarters, we have to put it all together as a team.”

On how you prepare for a defense that is able to break free quickly and produce stops: “Yeah, like I said earlier, I got hot reads. I got where I’m supposed to be with the ball. I can be out there and get the ball out of my hands quicker. At the end of the day, it’s also not – those guys up front have to do their job, but I have to do mine, so I felt like I could’ve done a better job of pre-snap, understanding, and realizing the coverage and where the ball needs to get out and get out fast. If we do get into situations where they might be struggling up front, but like I said, those guys up front did their job. I’ve got to do mine.”

On how the team can get back into a rhythm: “Yeah, I feel like what we’ve got to do is we just have to come out whether it’s first half, the first quarter, or the third quarter in the second half and just be able to, without hits, just get into it, be able to go. Getting that first play going, having a positive play on that first play. Once you do that, getting that first, first down, getting that first, first down going and then starting the drive and then keeping it rolling, keep getting those first downs, keep the ball moving forward, no penalties and that’s how you keep it going.”

On what made it difficult to convert on first downs: “Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m talking about. We just weren’t able to get the ball going on those first down plays. Whether they were stopping us, or it was a bad ball, incomplete pass, whatever it may have been, that’s just on us to be able to go out there and get a positive play on that first drive, whether it’s a yard, whether it’s four, whether it’s 10, whether it’s a touchdown, doesn’t matter, just get that first play going and get the drive started.”

On if he looks at a game like this and wonders why they were unable to move the ball: “No, this isn’t a one-person game. It’s not a (Falcons TE) Kyle Pitts, it’s not a (Falcons WR) Drake London, it’s not a (Falcons RB) Bijan Robinson game, this is a game where, as an offense, we’ve got to play as a full 11. As a team, we’ve got to play as a full 53, so it counts on everyone. It’s not just one person and it’s not just the offense, it’s not just the defense, but it’s a full team. So altogether, we’ve got to take a look at ourselves, see where we can go back and what we did wrong and what we can improve on, and come back Monday ready to work.”

On the penalties they had in the fourth quarter: “Yeah, well we go back in the – got the pre-snap penalty called the run play and wrong guy lined up, got too many guys in motion, so it’s a bag of crap right there and it moves it back and then yeah, we just got stopped down there.”

On if it felt like it was hard for them to get the momentum going: “Yeah, we were just shooting ourselves. Like I said, we weren’t starting on any of those drives. We weren’t able to get anything going, so I feel like you talk about it. It’ll never be – and a lot of teams talk about this, it’ll never be another team beating you, rather than you beat yourself and there’s a lot of times in our situations where we go out there and we beat ourselves and not play to our full potential.”

On if Detroit was covering Falcons RB Bijan Robinson a lot: “I wouldn’t say all that, but I’m sure they were aware of where he was on the field.”

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