Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan paces the sidelines as the Cincinnati Bengals go on a game winning drive in the final minutes of a NFL football game on Sunday, Sept 30, 2018, in Atlanta. The Bengals beat the Falcons 37-36. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

What Matt Ryan said after loss to Bengals 

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said after the 37-36 loss to the Bengals on Sunday.

On watching from the sideline: “Yeah, disappointing for sure. You know, we did a lot of really good things throughout that game, and to not come away with a win is tough, but it comes back to the same story as last week, had opportunities to close that out and chances to put that game in the lead, create a better margin for it, and we didn't do that offensively. So it was disappointing. But we got to rebound and get back to it. We got a long road in front of us, and we got a good football team. And you got to learn from these experiences and hopefully the next time around they'll be better for it.”

On whether there is still time left on the season: “Absolutely. Oh, yeah. There's a lot of football to be played, and like I said, the margin of error for a win and a loss is very small. And so, we've been really close. We just hadn't been able to get it done. But we have to have the belief and confidence that we're going to continue to get it done and get it done as we move forward. But there's plenty of football in front of us.” 

On whether he feels any pressure on himself because of the struggles from the defense: “Try and keep the same mindset every week and that is to do whatever it takes to win. Some weeks that's going to be a lot of points, and some weeks it might be a bit fewer, but as a veteran, I've learned to have that mindset every game we go into. So I don't put any more pressure or any less pressure on myself. I just have that mindset that we have to get the job done, and we haven't been able to do that the last couple of weeks, so it's been disappointing.”

On scoring 73 points without a turnover – on whether there is a part of him wondering if they can do any better: “I know we can. I look at the opportunity for us today. We had a couple of situations in the red area where we came away with field goals instead of touchdowns, one being on a short-field situation. And those are times where you have to come away with touchdowns. I know we can do better than we've done in the last couple of weeks. It's within us, and you know, it really isn't doing anything extraordinary. It's doing the ordinary things very well and consistently, regardless of the situation. That's the mindset that we have to have, is to execute consistently regardless of the situation.”

 On being a veteran and voicing it to the younger players that it’s a long season and there is time left: “That's it. That message of there are 12 football games in front of us, a lot of football to be played, a lot of things we've done in the first four weeks have been solid. But we have to be better for it. We got to be better moving forward, and that will be the message. A little bit of momentum is a good thing, and we need to get that momentum going.”

On how that last drive plays out watching it on the sideline – whether he is on the bench preparing to get back on the field or watching: “You're always thinking about the situation if we get the ball back, what do we have to do offensively, and that's kind of the mindset that I have, and as the clock continues to run, then you start to watch because you know there's going to be a shorter amount of time. I watched a little bit there at the end.”

On being a team leader and what is his message to the rest of the team: “There's a lot of football in front of us. We have 12 games to go, and who we are going to be at the end of the season is going to be different than who we are right now. But the way to get there is to put in the work. And I know no other way to improve than to go out and work hard, and so tomorrow when we get back in the building we've got to evaluate what we did well today, what we didn't do well, and then when we get to work Wednesday and out on the practice field we have to apply that so that we're better for this moving forward. But it just takes one or two plays here or there to get that spark going and to create some momentum. And we need to make some of those plays.”

On Mohamed Sanu getting the ball: “Yeah, Mohamed is huge for us. This week we had a good match up with him inside to create some explosive plays. How big he is, how physical he is, his catch radius and how good of hands he has allows for him to be a problem for defenses in the middle of the field. And he's fearless. He really is. He is fearless. He is not scared to go in there and mix it up and catch balls and make plays. He did an excellent job for us today.”

On whether he is surprised by the connection he and Calvin Ridley have already: “Yeah. He's done an excellent job for us coming in, and the reason he's gotten those looks is because we got a pretty good other guy on the other side. And Julio [Jones] creates matchup problems for the defense and requires so much coverage that other guys get really good opportunities, and Calvin has taken advantage of those opportunities and done a really nice job.”

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