Falcons’ Marcus Mariota: ‘We’ve just got to be better offensively’

CINCINNATI - Here’s what Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota had to say after the 35-17 loss to the Bengals on Sunday:

On whether there are any similarities in the other away games that have started slow

“It starts on first and second down. If you get behind the chains, especially against a good team, and you’re in known passing situations on third and long, you’re not converting and you’re just giving the ball right back. We put our defense in tough spots today. We’ve just got to be better offensively on first and second down and convert those third downs in the drive.”

On whether he was looking for more chances to take deep shots down the field

“No doubt. They did a good job of covering and creating situations where I held on to the ball. It is what it is. Sometimes you have that. I’ve got to do a better job of getting us out of some of these negative plays, whether it’s throwing the ball away, getting the ball out of my hands and not taking sacks.”

On his thoughts about the contrasting styles between the Falcons’ offense and the Bengals’ offense

“It is what it is. Joe (Burrow) had a great game. You’ve got to tip your cap off to that. They did a good job defensively to get us off the field and give the ball back to their offense. They sustained drives. Although they were throwing it around, they were able to keep the ball and create time of possession. When you’re behind 14 or 21 points and they’re holding the ball on you, it’s tough. You’re going to have a limited amount of possessions. It is what it is. We’ll find ways to get better and we’ll improve from today.”

On whether the two three-and-outs in the third quarter were the turning point of the game

“Yeah. It wasn’t good. We can’t go three and out like that. Especially when you have momentum on your side and make some plays at the end of the half to get us back into the game. We weren’t good enough on offense to be able to sustain it.”