Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses how the offense was shut down in the second half in he loss to Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter

What Matt Ryan had to say after 20-17 loss to Dolphins

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 20-17 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday: 

On the Dolphins comeback:
“Well, I don’t go that far back in terms of thinking, but you know, that was the case today. Seventeen-point lead at the half, and to come away without a win is disappointing. Just a pretty inconsistent game for us. I felt like we did some good things and made some good plays. We executed at a high level in the first half. In the second half, we got ourselves behind schedule, so it’s tough to overcome when you’re playing a good defense and you’re backed up on your first down plays or you have a penalty. I think the second drive in the second half we were in field goal range, and then kind of worked our way out of field goal range. When you’re playing in this league against good defenses and good teams like this, you have to come away with points in those situations. I think that was what led to it today. I can’t really speak for what has happened before.

On what happened in the second half:
“Well, I thought we put ourselves behind schedule. You know, the first drive of the second half, I think the first play we got backed up with a sack and did a good job on second and third down, but we were a little bit too far behind the chains to come away with a first down, so that was just an execution standpoint. And then again, on the the second drive of the second half, we got into field goal range. We’re down there in field goal range, moving the ball, penalty, and another sack, and we kind of got out of a spot where we could put points on the board. I think that was critical early. I thought we did a nice job at the end of the game getting down into giving ourselves a chance to win that football game, and just a disappointing way that it ended.

On losing the ball to an interception:
“I mean, it’s always disappointing when you don’t get the result that you want when you fall short. I thought we did a nice job of executing to get ourselves down into that situation. I felt like I made the right read in that situation, put it where I wanted to, and that’s how the game goes sometimes. I’m disappointed with it, but we’re going to continue to battle, and I think we’ll be better for it and hopefully more mentally and physically tough as a football team moving forward.”

On overcoming the second half as a team:
“I think we need to score points offensively. I think it’s as simple as that. It’s about execution, staying in front of the chains like we do, and when we have our opportunities in field goal range or in the red zone, we’ve got to come away with touchdowns. That’s what it boils down to. This game, this league, is about execution, and it’s about being consistent throughout the game, and we need to do a better job of that.”

On the decision to stay aggressive on the last drive:
“For sure. Again, I thought it was the right decision. Aggressive or [not], I understood we were in field goal range to tie the game. I also understood that we had plenty of time on the clock, and it was a throw that I felt good about. I let it rip, and again, just a good play by them. Sometimes that’s how it goes.”

On overcoming the second-half letdowns:
“That’s one of those things that we talk about staying aggressive all the time. That’s something that we need to do a better job of as a team this year. We had an opportunity this week in the second half to play with a lead. Trust me, it’s disappointing whenever you lose, and it’s disappointing when you have a lead and it gets away from you. Again, it comes down to a few plays here or there where we had opportunities to come away with points or to make a play here or there to extend a drive. Sometimes it comes on first down. Sometimes it comes on second down. You really just have to execute at a really consistent, high level, and we haven’t done that. We didn’t do that today.”

On the offense’s performance in the second half:
“It’s one of those things. Sometimes games shake out like that. We have very few possessions, maybe four, I think, in the second half. I thought we had two really good scoring chances on four of them. When you have those opportunities on drives, two out of four, to score points, it’s pretty good. That’s just how the game shook out today. A few possessions they kind of stayed on the field. Miami’s offense did. You can’t worry about it. I’ve played long enough at this point to know that games shake out differently all the time. When you get your opportunity to be out on the field regardless of whether it’s been an hour, you’ve got to go out there and make plays.”

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