Falcons’ Ryan: ‘We can be a good football team’

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed 34 of 46 passes for 300 yards but he had three interceptions.

Here’s what Matt Ryan had to say after the Falcons’ 48-25 loss to the Bucs on Sunday:

On getting multiple passes batted down: “Yeah, that’s part of the game. It’s tough. You’ve got to give them credit, they did a good job the entire night of continuing to pressure (and) getting their hands up. It’s tough to go against, but you got to learn from it. You better. Hopefully, we can do that across the board as we move forward.”

On cutting the deficit from 18 points to three points in second half: “I think we got it to a three-point game and had some momentum, really did. Credit to them, they changed the tide. They did a good job in the fourth quarter putting us away. I think there’s things we can improve on. I think there’s a lot of things we can correct, which is a positive for us moving forward. I think the effort has been good, I just think we need to be a little more detailed across the board. If we can do that, I think we can be a good football team moving forward.”

On tight end Kyle Pitts: “I thought (tight end) Kyle (Pitts) did a nice job for us. He made a couple good, explosive plays for us. (He) caught contested balls. I thought his effort was awesome. I though his route-running was really good. I really think as he moves forward during the year, he’s going to continue getting better and better the more comfortable and more experienced he gets.”

On what he sees in his team after first two games: “I think there’s fight, I think there’s guys that compete and give you everything they’ve got. When you have guys like that, you have a chance. I think we all, collectively, have to be more detailed, tighten things up, be more on the same page in all three phases and continue to get better. But, I’m optimistic. Disappointed, but optimistic with the type of effort we are getting from the guys and the way they’re focused and working during the week. With that said, we have to make the corrections. We have to get tighter as a group, get more detailed as a group.”

On if this will be a frustrating game tape to look at: “They’re always frustrating when you lose. Every time you watch them, there are opportunities that you had. This is really a message for our guys and our young guys. It can be frustrating, but it’s a wasted opportunity if we don’t learn from it and we don’t correct the things that we can correct moving forward. Experience is great for everyone. I think you learn a lot from those experiences, both positive and negative, and we have to be mature enough to be able to learn from them.”

On details that can be improved upon: “Just being all on the same page, making sure that, both in the run game and in the pass game, we’re targeted to the correct people all the time. We are at our route depths; I’m efficient getting the ball out when I need to get it out. Going to the right spaces versus certain looks. It’s all those type of things and I think the margin of error in this league – I know I’ve said this a number of times before, but the margin for error in this league is very small. The teams that are consistent week to week are the ones that are very detailed. That’s my message for [the] guys going forward. Let’s focus on our details and try to get those things right.”

On what allowed team to cut into the second-half deficit: “We converted third downs. I think that’s the key. You stay on the field, you convert some third downs, and some that were not in ideal third down situations either. But, we converted them. When you do that, and you create a few explosive plays, it gives you a much easier chance to score points. I thought we did a nice job of that in the third quarter.”

On the history of 0-2 teams making the playoffs not being good: “We can throw that out now, (it’s a) seventeen-game schedule. It’s all different now. I don’t want to hear those statistics.”

On if the team can pin some hope on there being more games this year: “Yeah, for sure. There’s 15 games to go, we have a long season in front of us and we’ve got a lot of youth in our locker room. I do think there’s an opportunity for us to get better, but we have to correct the things that we haven’t done well so far.”

On the next three games: “I’m not worried about three weeks from now. I’m worried about getting back to work tomorrow, making sure that when we do watch that film, that guys are locked in on what needs to be corrected. Then, [I’m] focused on getting onto that practice field on Wednesday and putting together a really good week of practice to give ourselves a chance to go up and get a win next week. I think if you look too far down the road, you’re not focused on exactly what you need to be focused on this week.”

On the mood of the postgame locker room: “The mood is never great after losses. Everybody is disappointed. You plan all week to come down and get the job done, and when you don’t, it’s disappointing. But, at the same time, the message is it’s a long haul. We’re two games into a 17-game schedule, and we’ve got a long way to go. I thought (head coach) Art(hur Smith) did a good job of getting that message across to the guys.”

On what the cause was for the loss of momentum in second half: “Every game is different. Today, I think, when you have your opportunity on third-and-1 and keeping the game going, that’s a shot. That’s an opportunity that we didn’t convert and connect on. When you’re playing a really good football team like we did today, you’ve got to hit on most of your opportunities. At a few times throughout the game, not only that one, but a few times throughout the game, we didn’t hit on ours.”

On the two interceptions returned for touchdowns: “Yeah, it’s tough. I’ve got to look at both of them. Obviously, I though I could get both of them out. That’s part of playing. But, I’ll take a look at them and hopefully give you a better answer Wednesday.”

On using two timeouts on the same possession in the first half: “(We were) down on the clock on the second one. I can’t remember if it was the first (timeout) or the second one. One was not enough guys on the field, and the second was just down on the clock and having a motion. Again, those are all the kind of things that we’ve got to do a better job of. We would’ve had three timeouts in that situation end of half. We can be better there.”

On passing former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for most passing yards in 14-year period and at what point that will matter to him: “I don’t know. But, it’s nice to be mentioned with Drew (Brees). Anytime you are mentioned with him, it’s a good thing.”

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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 at New York Giants, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.

Washington FT at Falcons, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

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

Here’s the rest of full schedule.