Falcons defensive end John Cominsky (left) rushes against tackle Jake Matthews during team practice Monday, July 29, 2019, in Flowery Branch.
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Hot seat: Jake Matthews has plenty to make up for

“I was frustrated that a couple of plays that I wanted to go my way, didn’t,” said Matthews, who gave up a sack on the first play of the game. “I’ve got to improve from it. The beauty of the league is that we have another game this Sunday.”

Matthews, who needs to play better, will be on the hot seat against the Eagles at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Matthews gave up the sack to Anthony Barr and had a tough time with Minnesota defensive Everson Griffen. 

“It was a tough game,” Matthews said. “Obviously, I’d like some plays back. I know what I’m capable of and I’m looking forward to playing this week.”

The Falcons played their starters sparingly in the exhibition season and didn’t have any joint practices. They have started slow in each of the past four seasons.

They are somehow expected to be ready to go in regular-season games from the work they get in walk-throughs and light-contact practices. 

However, Matthews wouldn’t use that as an excuse for the meek starts to the season.

“I think we do a good job of preparing and getting ready to play,” Matthews said. “It’s just about executing. I have to do a better job of that. As a team, we have to do it as well.”

The line will be front and center against the Eagles, who have held the Falcons to 12, 10 and 15 points in their past three meetings, all Philadelphia victories. 

“Something that we can improve on is scoring points,” Matthews said. “We move the ball well. We just need to finish better. It starts with me and (offensive) line and all of us…. I’m real confident that we are going to get it going again.”

The Falcons season ended on the Eagles’ 2-yard line in the 15-10 loss in the division round of the playoffs after the 2017 season. The Falcons victory bid against the Eagles in the 18-12 loss in the season opener in 2018 ended on the Eagles’ 5-yard line. Both times, passes to Julio Jones were incomplete. 

“When you get in the red zone, you have to score touchdowns,” Matthews said. “Everyone is too good to settle for field goals. Yeah, we have to improve on that. As a line and front five, we have to be in the right spots and make sure that our play makers have lanes to run.”


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