What Raheem Morris said after loss to the Chiefs

Credit: AJC

Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris discusses the 17-14 loss to the Chiefs and why he threw the red challenge flag on A.J. Terrell’s non-interception.

Here’s what Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris said after the 17-14 loss Sunday to the Chiefs:

OPENING STATEMENT: “Just proud of the football team and how they came to play against the defending champs. You know they put up a great effort. We did not come here to get pat on the back by anybody. We came here to win a football game. Ultimately at the end of the day, you want to win that game and that is the only goal you have when you go to play these games.”

Anything A.J. Terrell can learn from the dropped interception? “You know it is not just A.J. We talked about it throughout the week. It is the part of the plays that you need to win the game. We talked about Patrick Mahomes potentially throwing you a few and when he throws them up in the air, you have to come down with them. Who knew it would end just like that, but it did. We come down with that one, that is the difference in the game. That is the difference to us sealing a victory, and we were not able to get it. They capitalized afterward.”

What did you see to challenge that play? “The stadium did a great job of not showing it. It was a great job of the ball being up in the air and us coming down with it. Coming out at the end, it was just too big of a play not to challenge. Ultimately, I had to make the decision on my own right there and I did. I went for the challenge to try and see what happened and see what New York says.

On four man rush versus the blitz: “We did a nice job having some simulated pressure, some of our guys coming from the back end, some of our guys coming from the linebacker position. Our D-line really stepped up today to get him (Patrick Mahomes) out of the pocket, getting a really good quarterback on the move. I shouldn’t call him good, a really great quarterback, on the move in order to make him a little bit confused and harder to make the plays he normally makes.”

What was the blueprint today to slow the Chiefs down? “None of your business. Have to watch it on the tape.”

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Darius Harris (47) recovers a fumble by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Brandon Powell (15) during the second half Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

Credit: AP

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Credit: AP

What started to work in the fourth quarter with the offensive rhythm? “The offense that had had some success all day moving the football and the ability to run the football today, the ability to spread some guys out and throw some balls. We did not get as many explosives as we wanted to. We did not get as many points as we wanted to, but ultimately at the end of the day, they fought tough. They played well. They stayed with it. They stayed resilient and ultimately those guys will not be happy with the results, but it is what it is. We got to find a way to win those games.”

Did you have to make adjustments for the offense late in the second half? “You always have to make adjustments, especially when you are playing really good football teams. We have to do some things differently. The guys did a great job on offense coming out and getting us in the position to win that game, really getting us in the position to tie that game and send it to overtime and unfortunately we missed the kick with our Pro Bowl kicker.”

What did you say to (Younghoe) Koo after the missed kick? “Absolutely nothing. You go hug him and tell him you love him. That is exactly what I did. I told him his day would come and it is going to come very shortly.”

What are your takeaways from today? “It is really a credit to the team and organization. The biggest takeaway is that we can play with anybody. You line them up and we have a chance to go out there and get after them. These guys certainly can show that, and we can certainly do that most of the year. We have not been able to win these games that have come down to the wire, and we have to find a way to win these games on the wire. We have to be more consistent with us running the football, and we have to be more consistent with the passes that we showed today.”

Does this loss hurt even more than others this season? “No, they all hurt. It is what it is. They all feel the same. They all are the same. You got to go out and try to get wins. They are no different until you get to the playoffs, and that is ultimately where we want to be at one point.”

What do you say to the fans who are excited about the draft order after this loss? “Our fan base is very knowledgeable and that is their job to cheer for those kinds of things, but our job is to go out and win football games. I really love those guys. I really love Atlanta. I love everything we stand for and when that time comes, we will address those accordingly.”

Does this performance prove that you are better than some thought hanging in with the Chiefs like you did? “I am not really concerned with what other people think. I am more concerned what I think, and I think we are close. I think we have the people. We have to fix some things, and we have to do some things better in order to put ourselves in the position to be in these meaningful games at the end of the season. I know we can do it with the guys that we have in this room right now. Let’s just go and figure out what is going to happen and get ready to play Tampa Bay next week.”

Did you think about calling a timeout on the third and one that Todd Gurley ran to save clock? “I can’t really recall the play right now. I was in the situation where we were trying to bleed the clock and not get Patrick Mahomes another chance. I don’t know what exactly you are talking about, but I know we had intentions on using the clock when we wanted to use it and it was not there.”

Grady Jarrett versus Chris Jones, who won today? “I just love those guys. We obviously have to look at the tape to see who had a better day, but Chris Jones is a factor especially there at the end. Grady is always going to be a factor for us and what he is able to bring to us and what he does for us, as a football team, as a man, as a character guy. It is what it is. We will look at the tape and see what happened, but obviously Chris Jones won the day. They got the win.”

Falcons’ 2021 draft position

(Before Week 16 action)

1. Jacksonville

2. New York Jets

3. Cincinnati

4. Carolina

5. Falcons

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