“This is obviously disappointing,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “We didn’t play the way that we are capable of today. But that was a good team that we played against. We had some opportunities. We couldn’t really get into a rhythm offensively and that was a product of not converting enough third downs.”
The Falcons were 2 of 11 on third-down conversions (18 percent).
“We are disappointed,” Ryan said. “We’ll learn from it. We’ll get back to work tomorrow, take a look at it and then get some rest. Hopefully, we’ll come back refreshed and ready to play the remainder of the season.”
The Falcons’ problems on third down stemmed from their inability to run the ball on first and second down. Overall, 9 of 11 third-downs situations were 7 yards or longer.
“I think we were in a lot of third-and-long situations,” Ryan said. “When you are playing against good defenses you want to stay on schedule. I don’t know how many third-and-longs that we had, but we had a number of those. We came up a little bit short. That’s an area where we can certainly be better.”
The Falcons’ offensive line didn’t have a good day as Ryan was sacked twice and hit six other times. The Falcons were held to a season-low 48 yards rushing on 13 carries.
“They did a really good job of making plays and we needed to do a better job of making those big downs,” center Alex Mack said.
The third-down problem was pronounced.
“They just did a good job of combination of coverage and blitz,” Mack said. “We just need to make plays. We can do better on first and second down and make it more manageable third downs. On third downs, in the past, we’ve done a really good job of guys stepping up and making some really big plays. We just didn’t have very many today.”