Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after the 22-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday:
Opening Statement: “Heading into this week I thought it was going to be two tough teams regardless of the record that would battle until the end. We certainly expected that. I told the team in the locker room today that preparation was right; the mindset was right and that's tough when it goes the other way. We found ourselves in lots of close games. This year we played as it comes down to the end and we must close in those situations. So, knowing that's an area for us that not only have we targeted, but we've got to get the job done. I understand some of you will talk big picture. But honestly, for us, the only thing on our minds is getting ready to go fight and play on Thursday night. And that's where our focus will lie heading into this week for the preparation to get ready to go play a game.”
On the defensive coverage in the last play: “At one time we had a double on two of their players. Another time we played zone. So, to change it up to go and to see that scenario, it's must-stop time. You look for your match-ups and you look for ways to create that. That's why we called the timeout on one of them, thinking we'd get the stop there and give our offense a chance to go back. We didn't get that one done, moved down again and put themselves in a chance to hit a field goal. We used our timeouts. I’m glad we had them to use at the end to give ourselves a chance. But at the end, excellent play by the offense and Julio Jones to give ourselves a chance to tie it and hopefully get the ball back to score it whether it was in regulation or overtime.”
On the third down timeout call: “In the last drive? Yes, I thought let's give our offense a chance. I was going into the mindset to say we would stop them. And if we did, I didn't want to use that 40 seconds on the punt. We'd have a chance as opposed to allowing them to use that time. We could go ahead and use the timeout then and save the time and still have one timeout left.”
On this being the third walk-off loss: “They test your resolve, that's for sure. When there's a field goal or touchdown to close it out, yeah, they're the hardest as a competitor. Call it last shot. Last play, whatever it comes down to, those ones definitely sting the most. And because you're going into it, you're ready to go make a game-winning play. When it goes the other way, those are hard.”
On the biggest issue during their last scoring play: “In the one that they kicked the field goal on? Yeah, for sure I thought they converted third down. That was the biggest one I thought to get going. It was maybe the third or fourth play of that series. I thought we had a double on. They went to a different person after we doubled somebody. Those were the match-ups in those parts of the games that you've got to win.”
On whether they considered attempting the 54-yard field goal in the second quarter: “We did. We kind of had a marker heading into the game where we felt Matt (Bryant) would be just right on the point for them. So, I thought about it, but it was past where we kind of went in. I trust those guidelines with Matt (Bryant). He's certainly earned that through his time. I knew when it was in the space where we said we were, but it was definitely one I thought about nudging over, but I didn't.”
On the location of the marker: “For the field goal, we were in the space at the 36-yard line or something like that. It may have been at the 38 or longer.”
On whether he was thinking to get the ball back instead of going for two with 1:52 left: “I was, with the timeouts. That was the thinking there to say we'll get the stop and use the timeout and really give ourselves a chance to go. When we didn't get the stop on the third down, that was tough.”
On the mindset going forward: “For sure it's uphill. We know that. When you go into a locker room, it's emotional and guys are upset. It will be that way tonight. We've got to find a way to clear it because we'll be going back here in just a few days. That's really the mindset to go forward again. I told the team that when your preparation, your mindset and energy, and everything is right, and it goes the other way, sometimes those are the most difficult to find the answers. You've got to just trust in the process, what you're doing is the right thing and we're going to continue to work in some of these areas that still need to improve upon. But that's where we're at. Honestly, all our focus, all our energy, and intent are right into this week's preparation. That's the best thing we can do right now.”
On whether he thought there was a chance for more explosive plays: “I'll have a better answer for that as we're going through how many shots we took. Certain coverage dictates when the chances are there, and you go, and you nail it. There were some other ones that we, whether we got hit when we throw it or got rushed, those were ones that maybe did not show up because we didn't get the throw off. The route and intent were there for sure.”
On whether he feels that this is a 4-6 team: “No, I don't. Only because I love the fight of the guys, the energy, the attitude that goes into it. But that is where we are and that's the hard part for us. That's why, honestly, we'll just go into this week and just this game and not think about the big picture and only on this game, this attitude, this mindset. That's where our focus will lie for this week.”
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