Matt Ryan: ‘We need to do a better job across the board’

Credit: Atlanta Falcons

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses the failed fourth-and-5 attempt late in the game, along with the defensive collapse with one minute left against Lions.

Credit: Atlanta Falcons

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 23-22 loss Sunday to the Lions:

On the fourth-down pass to Ito Smith: “That was a good play by them. A tipped ball and we just didn’t get the job done. That was disappointing. Really good drive. We were backed up and going down the field. Aggressive call. We’ve got to find a way to make that play and I’ve got to find a way to make that play.”

On whether he was pushing interim head coach Raheem Morris to go for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter: “I was on the field and so as players, it’s whatever comes in. It’s your job to go out there and make the play come to life.”

On the Lions taking away explosives in the passing game: “I thought we did a nice job in the passing game creating some explosives. I don’t think that was the issue. I think we had to come away with more points than we did. We started a little bit slow, so I think in order to score as many points as we needed to score, we needed to start a little faster than we did. I thought they played well up front. Their defensive front seven played tough. They’re big and physical and did a nice job against our run game.”

On Todd Gurley attempting to stop short of the goal line: “It’s tough. That’s a tough position as a player. When you’re lowering your pads and the momentum of trying to get yards is there, that’s a difficult spot to be in. It’s just a disappointing way for that game to end.”

ExploreTodd Gurley: ‘I shouldn’t have scored’

Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins signals touchdown as Falcons running back Todd Gurley attempted to stop short of the goal line to expend more time on the clock in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Gurley's touchdown gave Atlanta a 20-16 lead and the Falcons added the 2-point conversion to extend the lead to 22-16 with a minute left in the game. The Lions scored as time expired to win 23-22. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)
Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins signals touchdown as Falcons running back Todd Gurley attempted to stop short of the goal line to expend more time on the clock in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Gurley's touchdown gave Atlanta a 20-16 lead and the Falcons added the 2-point conversion to extend the lead to 22-16 with a minute left in the game. The Lions scored as time expired to win 23-22. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

On watching the final plays from the sideline: “It’s tough. I feel like in those end-of-game situations, you always rather be on the field with the ball in your hand. It’s tough when you’re over there watching. Credit to them. Matthew [Stafford] made some great plays there at the end of the game and a nice play at the end to get the touchdown.”

On the team’s mindset late in the game: “I think we have the right mindset there at the end of the game to go down and move the football down and get ourselves into a scoring situation to win that game. We need to do a better job across the board of handling the end of game a little bit better.”

On the message to the team as they get ready for Carolina: “It’s a quick turnaround. It’s disappointing for sure but we’ve got to go play Thursday night and we’ve got to play better than we did the last time we played Carolina. It stings for sure and it hurts. I’ve found in my career, the way you feel better is to get back on the field, get back in the meeting room and start to prepare for the next opponent.”

On Todd Gurley’s performance: “He played his ass off, he really did. It was tough sledding for him in the run game but he’s so physical and wore them down at the end and had some great runs. Todd [Gurley] is a great teammate and he is an unbelievable competitor. I thought he played hard.”

Falcons' next four games

Lions at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25

Falcons at Panthers at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Broncos at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8

Falcons at Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22

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