Six penalties ‘unacceptable’ for Falcons o-line

Credit: John Bazemore

Credit: John Bazemore

The Falcons returned to the Georgia Dome after two weeks on the road but their offensive linemen looked as if they were playing a road game.

Falcons offensive linemen committed four false start infractions among their six total penalties in the loss to the Chargers. That included back-to-back false start penalties that preceded Matt Ryan’s critical interception in the fourth quarter.

“That’s unacceptable as an ‘o-line’ to have that many false starts and penalties,” Falcons center Alex Mack said. “We will just have to look at the film, see what happened and try to fix it.”

The most costly penalties may have been the consecutive false starts that stalled a potential game-clinching drive and instead put the Falcons in a hole.

After the Chargers scored a touchdown to get within 30-27 with 5:59 to play, the Falcons quickly moved 35 yards in five plays and gained a first down at San Diego’s 40-yard line. They were on the edge of Matt Bryant’s field-goal range with 3:41 to play.

But right tackle Ryan Schraeder jumped early, moving the Falcons five yards back. Then left guard Andy Levitre moved before the snap, moving the ball back another five yards to make it first-and-20. Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman intercepted Ryan on the next play.

“It’s just lapses guys had,” Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews said. “Stuff we usually don’t do. We have got to get that fixed. It’s frustrating. We killed a couple of our drives.”

Schraeder had another false start in the second quarter during a drive in which right guard Chris Chester drew a holding call. The Falcons overcame those miscues to finish the drive with a TD.

Levitre put the Falcons in a first-and-20 hole when he drew a holding call on the first play of the third quarter. The Falcons went three-and-out and Matt Bosher punted for the first time in the game.