On the hot seat: The Falcons’ offense line must step up

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Eagles won 32-6. (Danny Karnik/AP)
caption arrowCaption
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) works during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Eagles won 32-6. (Danny Karnik/AP)

Credit: AP

FLOWERY BRANCH -- The Falcons’ offensive line has not unleashed the rushing attack, including picking up first downs in short-yardage situations, and can’t be trusted in obvious passing situations.

The unit will be on the hot seat when the Falcons (6-4) face the Jaguars (2-8) at 1 p.m. Sunday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

When the Falcons tried to bow up and pick up a yard against the Saints on fourth down and the Patriots on third and fourth downs, the offensive line couldn’t get a push, and the running backs were stuffed each time.

The Falcons skipped on a quarterback sneak each time as they have “packaged” plays called.

In the second quarter against the Saints, on fourth-and-1 from the Falcons’ 45, running back Mike Davis tried to plow behind left guard Jalen Mayfield and was stuffed for a yard loss by linebacker Pete Werner and defensive end Cam Jordan.

Against the Patriots, with the Falcons trying to rally from a 13-0 deficit, on third-and-1 from New England’s 16 fullback Keith Smith tried to run behind right guard Chris Lindstrom, but was stopped for no gain by linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Adrian Phillips.

On fourth-and-1, running back Qadree Ollison tried to run behind the left guard and was stopped for no gain by Phillips and defensive end Carl Davis.

But don’t look for the Falcons to make any changes along the line. The Falcons will go with some “schematic tweaks.”

“Won’t be any major changes,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “I mean you’re in the middle of the season and like every team, you’re dealing with the injuries and things that come up. We’ve clearly got to play better. We got to play smarter.”

The Bow Tie Chronicles

For more content about The Atlanta Falcons

Follow me on Twitter @DOrlandoAJC

On Facebook at Atlanta Falcons News Now

Atlanta Falcons coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons’ 2021 schedule features trip to London, January trip to Buffalo

Atlanta Falcons schedule and scores

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington 34, Falcons 30

Falcons 27, Jets 20

Bye Week

Falcons 30, Dolphins 28

Panthers 19, Falcons 13

Falcons 27, Saints 25

Cowboys 43, Falcons 3

Patriots 25, Falcons 0

Next four games

Falcons at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28

Tampa Bay at Falcons, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5

Falcons at Carolina, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12

Falcons at San Francisco, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 19

About the Author

Editors' Picks