Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 28-12 loss to the Vikings on Sunday:
It was a tough game. Can you talk about the goal-line situation and what happened? Negative play to start it and the interception. What happened? “That was tough. Obviously, at that situation, we had a chance to make it 21-7, which that's a much different ball game at that point. So that's disappointing. For me, on the second play, I just didn't throw the ball far enough away. As I pulled up, they kind of stopped, and I've just got to throw that ball further out of bounds. Both interceptions today were poor decisions. They cost us. It cost us points. It cost us points in both situations. So I've got to be better than that.”
Dan Quinn said he thought you were trying to go out to the tight end, and you were throwing it away? “I didn't reasonably expect our guy to pull up in that situation as we had a corner, so it was a little bit short. Regardless, I've got to put it in a spot where it's us or nobody.”
What about the first interception? It seemed like Julio Jones was pretty well covered. It's hard to tell if you actually had a clear view. “We were hot off our left side, so short on protection on that side. In that situation, I've just got to eat it and take a sack.”
First play of the game, it was a linebacker from your blind side. How much does that just kind of throw the script and everything out the window after that happened? “Well, I don't think you throw the script out. I just think it wasn't our best first play for sure. I thought we did a nice job on the second and long, running the football, getting it back into somewhat third and manageable. I think we were about third and 12 and got close on the scramble. But across the board, when you're playing on the road, you certainly don't want to start that way. You don't want to encourage that place getting louder and them getting into it more. So we've got to do a better job of starting fast. That was not what we were looking for today.”
I know you don't want to put down your offensive line because you don't do that kind of thing, but everybody sort of assumed it was going to take a while for this line to come together. Is that your early view of things, that it's still sort of a work in progress? “I think we're all a work in progress, that's for sure. That's not what we're capable of doing today, so we've got a lot of work in front of us across the board. It's not acceptable. We've got to play better than we did today, but we're definitely a work in progress across the board.”
Did you see indecision out there, though? “I don't think indecision. I think we just -- you know, we just got behind the chains too many times when we had mistakes at inopportune times. When you're moving the football and you turn the football over twice as you're getting into the red area and once on the 1-yard line or 2-yard line, whatever we were at, the 2 or the 3. That's tough. Then to turn the football over early in the game too on an interception and leave them a short field, those are things that are difficult to overcome, especially on the road. So across the board, we've got to take care of the football better than we did today.”
Matt, it's been a pattern now with you all opening the season kind of slowly. Didn't get the win Chicago three years ago in the goal line stand and then on the goal line in Philly last year, and then this one here today. What can you all do to start the season better, and how do you all dig out of this hole for the next few games? “I'm not worried about the last three or four openers. Today is what we're worried about. So we'll look at the tape and find ways that we can improve, but there's got to be a really good sense of urgency from all of us when we get to work tomorrow to make these corrections, to be honest about our performance today, and then ensure that, when we get back out on the practice field Wednesday, we've got the right mindset to find a way to get a win next weekend. That's really all the focus, where all of the focus needs to be. We've just got to find a way to get a win next week.”
You guys passed to Julio Jones late. What did they do -- 3 for 18 going into the fourth quarter. You got some stuff to him late, but what did they do to make him not a factor in the game? “They had two players over him basically the entire game. So that makes it tough. With hard inside leverage from Xavier Rhodes and a safety over the top, it creates opportunities for other guys, but when he did get one-on-ones, he made plays.”
Was it Anthony Harris or Harrison Smith that were on him? “Both. Yeah, both.”
You talked earlier about the plays in the goal lines. What about just moving forward getting those red zones? You didn't get the opportunities today, of course, in the red zone, but do you feel like those issues, you know, want to get those resolved? “For sure. You've got to come away with touchdowns. In this league, when you get your chances in the red area, you've got to walk away with touchdowns. We didn't do a good enough job of that when we were in the red area or on the fringe kind of getting into that red zone of coming away with points. We've got to do a much better job.”
What are some of the things you worked on in practice and we see you working on in practice -- you even said, I think at one time, you said I've got to be better in the red zone. What are some of the things you want to see moving forward that you've got to do differently? “We've got to make plays. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to. When we get our chances, we get our opportunities, we've got to make those plays. It's a long year. Obviously, today did not go the way that we wanted it to, but the work that we've put in, it's going to pay off as we move down the road. Hopefully, we can just right the ship next week and get back with a win.”
Chris Lindstrom went out of the game. How did he play before he got hurt, and how bad to see him get hurt? “You don't want to see anybody go down. I'm not really sure what's going on. So you'll have to ask Q about that. I thought he did a nice job. I've got to watch the film. I'm out there -- it's tough for me to critique other players as we're playing the game. I'm just trying to do my job. We'll take a look at it and find out how all of us can get better as we move forward.”
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