In the opener last season against the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons’ inability to score in the red zone hurt them.
The Saints won the hotly contested game 23-17 at the Superdome after the Falcons stalled twice inside the 10-yard line.
“That’s a big emphasis this year,” wide receiver Julio Jones said. “We have to score in the red zone. We have too many weapons to get (stopped) in the red zone.”
The Falcons’ third drive of the game stalled on the 5-yard line after pass over the middle to Jones was incomplete. Matt Bryant added a 23-yard field goal.
On the Falcons’ final drive, they moved from their 20 to the Saints’ 3. But after running back Steven Jackson dropped an apparent touchdown pass, Ryan was intercepted on fourth down.
The Falcons were 2 for 4 in the red zone against the Saints as Tony Gonzalez and Jones had touchdown catches 7 and 4 yards.
“We have to make those plays, especially if we get one-on-one (matchups),” Jones said. “We have to make Matt feel comfortable that we are going to win our one-on-one matchups.”