Matt Ryan: ‘We haven’t been good enough ... last two weeks’

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said after the 30-26 loss to the Bears on Sunday:

On his current emotions: “Definitely frustrated. I think all of us are disappointed. It’s been a tough back-to-back weeks of not getting the job done. So I think everybody is frustrated.”

On the final four drives of the game: “We just needed to get into that first 1st down and we weren’t able to do it. You know, it’s a credit to them. Chicago played well in that fourth quarter. They did a nice job. We’ve got to find a way to get it done. We’ve got to find a way in one of those drives to get that first 1st down, to get a little momentum going, put them on their heels a little bit and secure that ballgame. We weren’t able to do it.”

On throwing five passes in six plays prior to the Bears taking the lead and whether there were discussions about trying to get the ground game going and burning clock: “Yeah, that’s part of it. You know, we’ve got to find a way to improve in those situations. We haven’t been good enough as an offense the last two weeks, but as players, you go out there and you try and make the call come to life. That’s where we’ve got to put our focus. We’ve got to find a way in those situations to make a play, and it just takes one. This is a tough league, but a spark here or there can go a long way, and we’ve got to make one of those in these end-of-game situations.”

On the final interception of the game: “Yeah, just — I threw it a little bit too high angle. Got what I wanted in terms of the corner taking away the under on the outside and just — it was a poor throw.”

On the reason for the offense stalling in the fourth quarter: “You know, I wish it was one thing. That’s kind of the tough part for us. It’s not just one thing. And so when it’s a different thing here or there, week in and week out, I feel like we’ve all got to take a look in the mirror and find ways that we can do our own jobs better. That starts with me, finding a way to make sure that I’m giving our guys a chance to make plays.”

On whether he felt the absence of WR Julio Jones: “Well, you always would love to have him out there. There’s no question. He’s a huge part of our team and our offense, and kind of sets the tone for us. But I thought our guys did a nice job of stepping up. I thought Calvin played well, Russ was playing good until he came out. We had a lot of guys that had to step up and play a lot more snaps than usual. This will be a great learning experience for them to see where they’re at.”

On whether he believes head coach Dan Quinn will be the head coach moving forward: “You know, we’ve got his back. We’ve got to play better as players, and that’s what you have to focus on. I think when things aren’t going good or going well, it’s easy to look around and see what everybody else is doing or where everybody else is screwing up. The only way we’re going to improve as a unit is if we all kind of look in the mirror and find ways to improve individually and make sure that we’re the best version of ourselves individually when we go out there.”

On whether he feels the outside noise is affecting head coach Dan Quinn and whether that filters down to the players:"You know, I don’t think so. It’s hard. It’s hard on all of us. Criticism is tough and there’s no way of getting around it, but that’s part of being a professional is being able to deal with it, and he is a consistent person and shows up with positive energy all the time. I think as players, we’ve got to find a way to get a spark and get something going and create some momentum."

On DE Dante Fowler’s postgame message to the team: “Yeah, I think it’s always good when guys kind of pour their heart out, and I think for him it was — he’s been doing this a long time, and when your backs are up against the wall, you’ve got to come out swinging and keep fighting. I think it’s a good message for all of us.”

On the performance of the offensive line:"Yeah, I think they did some good things for sure early, were able to get the run game going a little bit, had good protection with our play action pass early on, which was key. We knew if we got into some just drop-back passing situations it was going to be tough because they’ve got a really good defensive front four. We’ll have to take a look at it tomorrow, see where we can all get better, but we didn’t get the job done, and so that’s the disappointing part, so we’ve all got to be better."

On whether he’s afraid the identity of the team will be building big leads but not holding on:"I think we — it hasn’t — the entire story hasn’t been told yet, and it’s a long haul. But we need to change it. We need to change the narrative, that’s for sure. That’s going to start for us next week."

On what gives him confidence the team will get back on the right track:"Well, I think we’re close. I mean, as disappointing and as frustrating as it is, we’re not getting blown out week in and week out. We’ve got to find a way to tighten it up for sure and find a way to close these things out. There’s no question about it. But we’re right there. That’s probably the frustrating part is that it hasn’t been just getting killed or anything like that. It’s just been we haven’t finished the job, and so while we’re frustrated at this point, we have to be optimistic moving forward, we’ve got to correct the things that we can correct and trust that the next time we get in this situation we’re going to improve on it."