Falcons’ offense has just 5 TDs over 35 possessions

DETROIT – The Falcons have had 35 offensive possessions this season and have scored just five touchdowns and seven field goals.

The offense sputtered throughout the 20-6 loss to the Lions on Sunday and never found its way to the end zone over 12 possessions.

“We need to try to go out there and make plays like we know how to,” said wide receiver Drake London, who caught two of his six targets for 31 yards. “That’s it. It’s simple.”

The Falcons had a lot of negatives plays early in their possessions and ended up giving up seven sacks and eight quarterback hits. Quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 21 of 38 passes for 201 yards. He finished with a passer rating of 70.

The Falcons spent their last three first-round picks -- all in the top 10 – to land tight end Kyle Pitts, London and running back Bijan Robinson. But they haven’t figure out how to unleash all of the offensive weaponry.

“We lost, so yeah, it’s going to be frustrating,” London said.

The Falcons threatened to score late, but had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Younghoe Koo.

“Learn from our mistakes,” London said. “Go in there and get better on Monday. Head over the pond and try to beat the Jaguars.”

London believes the offense can get on track.

“We are all competitors at the end of the day,” London said. “That’s how we got here. To lose, I don’t think that’s really a good feeling.”

The lack of touchdowns is somewhat alarming. Also, Detroit’s defense had just given up 37 points to Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks in their previous meeting.

“Yeah, but we have ball players out there,” London said. “It could be anybody’s day at the end of the day. We just have to go out there and make the plays. Do what we do.”

Falcons coach Arthur Smith is the team’s play-caller.

“Tried to mix some things up,” Smith said. “Didn’t execute well enough.”

The Falcons kept shooting themselves in the foot on first down.

“That was pretty much the story of the game, too (many) negative plays on early downs,” Smith said. “That lead to a lot of ugly offensive football. As ugly as it did feel, we had our chances late to do something with it. We didn’t. We didn’t convert the third-and medium and the fourth-and- medium after Jessie’s interception. Even the one before, the field goal that we missed.”

It’s back to the drawing board for the offense and how to incorporate all of the weapons.

“A lot of things we can do better,” Smith said. “All of us. There are some tough lessons learned. Tomorrow get back to work. We have to look as a team, at all of us.”

Smith plans to get to the bottom of the sacks.

“Some of them, different schemes,” Smith said. “Especially, when you get into obvious drop backs...especially late, one or two of them. One or two of them were on some actions and they beat us off the snap. It was right now. Whether if that’s the crowd of whatever it is, we have to do a better job of getting into that. We didn’t even get the play started.”

The Lions were relentless.

“It wasn’t like it was collapsing on the traditional pass pro,” Smith said. “But obviously they got seven sacks and we got zero. We hit Goff a few times.

While under duress, Ridder could never get in a rhythm.

“They affected our quarterback and got us off track,” Smith said. “Credit to Detroit. They were ready to go.”

The offensive linemen didn’t use noise as an excuse.

“Desmond did a phenomenal job communicating with us,” right guard Chris Lindstrom said. “We were able to communicate with each other. We understand what we need to do better. We’ll just watch the (film) tomorrow and see what are the corrections.”

Lindstrom believes the offensive line will solve their pass protection issues.

“It’s no fun,” Lindstrom said. “We understand that. It’s never as good as it seems and never as bad as it seems. So, you’ll just have to be objective. We are going to go through (the film) tomorrow. Make our corrections and get out mind’s right for Jacksonville.”

Running back Bijan Robinson said the team is behind Ridder.

“Just his confidence,” Robinson said. “No matter how we do on a drive. He’s always ready to go. He’s always ready to produce something great on the field….I appreciate him always picking us up and being that vocal leader on the sideline.”

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