The Falcons quarterback discusses the 43-37 overtime loss to the Saints Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

What Matt Ryan had to say after loss to Saints

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 43-37 loss to the Saints in overtime on Sunday:

On what went wrong during the final drive of regulation:

“Yeah, that was disappointing. Obviously, we've got an opportunity to win the game in that situation. So, we just didn't execute across the board well enough. You know, really in that situation, and before the half as well, where we could have either used more clock or got into a drive right at the end of the half. We kind of ended up having to punt and giving up three points. That part was disappointing. I thought offensively we did a lot of really good things. We had situational things come up that we didn't do a good enough job at, and that's what we've got to prepare and get better at before next week.”

On what happened with the run game today: “Sometimes you've got to credit the other guys too. I thought their front seven did a nice job today. In our run game, we never really got into a rhythm in the run game, but at the same time, we also felt like we had advantage in the passing game, and we had a lot of really good matchups for us. We created a lot of explosives in the passing game today, and when you do that and you continue to have success with it, you're going to continue to take those chances.”

On Calvin Ridley’s play today: “Calvin played really well. He stepped up when he had the opportunity to. It was clear from the start; the game plan was going to be two guys to account for Julio (Jones) and a safety coming down from the opposite side to account for, where Mohamed (Sanu) was at, and that means Calvin’s singled up in one-on-one coverage. I thought (Steve) Sarkisian did a great job of taking advantage of that, calling plays to get him shots down the field. But at the end of the day, Calvin's got to go out and make those plays, and he's done that for us all season. But today was special. I was proud of him. He did a great job for us.”

On what happened during the last three plays of the night – did the Saints change their pass-rush:

“The only pressure, the only blitz was on the third down.”

On the one where he got hit: “Yeah, that was it, and then the others were not.”

On with all the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, whether he expects higher scoring games where they are trying to outscore the other team: “You never know. You never know how games are going to shake out, but your mentality offensively or as a quarterback has to be whatever we have to do. If it's going to be like today, we've got to go out there and make the plays and score the points when we need to. And we had chances offensively to finish the ball game today, and we didn't do that. So that part's disappointing. I will say this. It's tough to see guys go down on the defensive side of the ball. Those guys put so much work into it. And I think, as I've gotten older, it's probably more difficult when you see guys go down because you just – you realize how disappointing it is for them. I thought our young guys came in and stepped up and did a good job for us. They'll be better for the experience moving forward.”

On whether the end of the first half was a clock management situation, or they needed to be more aggressive in terms of plays: “I think it was, on that third down play, if I could have just gotten a little further into the pocket, we had what we wanted on the right side. We had Julio (Jones) kind of running a return route. I'm disappointed in myself for not getting further down into the pocket. I think we could have gotten that first down and had room to run on the back of it.”

On as he gets older, whether he appreciated doing things he has not done in his career such as the five touchdown passes: “It's about wins and losses. I guess, as you get older, you realize that too. It's not about you. It's about us and what we do as a team. Obviously, it's nice to throw touchdown passes and do all those things, but it's all about winning games, winning football games. So we're disappointed that we didn't get it done today.”

On whether he takes comfort in the fact that they have produced well offensively today and last week: “I think we can play with a lot of confidence. The production has been there. We've done a lot of really good things on that side of the ball. We can be a lot better too. So the optimism is there and the eagerness to get back to work to try and improve some of the things that we didn't do as well as we would like to. It makes it exciting to get back to work this week and see what we can become.”

On how he feels about the overtime rule in the NFL, not winning the coin toss and getting a chance on the field: “I'm not going to comment on that.”

On whether that is a helpless feeling: “I think as a player, in any situation, at least for me, I'd rather be out there. I'd rather be the one with the ball in my hand and making the plays. That's probably the hardest part about football. All the other sports I played growing up, you were a part of it offensively or defensively, and football is the one unique thing where it's all three phases. So, it's tough when you're on the sideline because you want to be out there, but it's part of it.”

On what he said to Drew Brees after the game and what he said to him: “Just great game. I thought he played really well, and that was the extent of it.”

On whether he was happy with the rhythm they are getting into and getting Calvin Ridley involved: “Yeah, I thought Calvin did a great job for us today, played extremely well, took advantage of the one-on-one opportunities when he got them and made them pay for keeping him isolated. I thought we did some good things offensively today, but I also think we had a chance to put the ball game away and didn't do that. So, there's a lot of room for improvement for us.” 

On the offense: “We had chances offensively to finish the ball game today and we didn’t do that, so that part is disappointing,”  

On why Ridley was so open: “It was clear from the start the game their plan was to use two guys to account for Julio and use a safety from the opposite to coming down from the other side to account for where Mohamed was. That leaves Ridley singled up in one on one coverage. I though Sark did a great job taking advantage of that.” 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.