The Falcons were able to pass against the Seahawks, with Ryan passing for 450 yards and two touchdowns in the 38-25 loss (he went 37-for-54, not the most efficient stat line). But they often struggled to capitalize and were 0-for-4 on fourth-down plays, which included an unsuccessful fake punt and a sack on Ryan when the Falcons went for it on fourth-and-2 from the Seahawks' 11-yard line, trailing by 16 points with a little more than a minute to go in the third quarter (they went scoreless in the third and entered the fourth quarter down 28-12).
Fourth-down play hurt them on defense, too, when the Seahawks went for it on fourth-and-5 from the Falcons' 38-yard line, which resulted in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf for a 21-12 lead in the second quarter. Seattle went 1-for-1 on fourth down. The Falcons also did themselves no favors by committing two turnovers (one interception, one fumble).
Ryan can’t pick one particular play that he would like to have back, but a handful of those close calls added up.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily one, I’ve always thought in this league, it comes down to about five or six different ones throughout the game, that you either make them or you don’t, and they usually determine the outcome of the game,” Ryan said. “I think you talk about three of those fourth-down opportunities for us, on the offensive side of the ball, in addition to a third-and-short that we had that caused a fourth down, so I think those four plays, if any of those go a little differently, I think the game shakes out probably a little bit different.
"But as a player, it’s your job to execute in those situations. When the play-call comes in, the play is called and it’s time to go, it’s about making it work, and we just didn’t do a good enough job.”
Despite the loss to start the season and the misfires on fourth down, Ryan thinks the Falcons will be confident heading into Week 2.
“I’ve played for a long time," Ryan said. "I do think there’s a lot of positives to take away from that game and a lot for us to build on, and the confidence I think is going to be there.”