Here’s what Matt Ryan had to say after the 27-24 loss to the Colts Sunday:
Q. What is happening to the team in the first half where you’re starting slow on the road? What happened to you today?
A. Today – on limited possessions – we had two good opportunities to come away with points. We didn’t come away with points on either of those possessions. It turned out this was the kind of game that we needed those scores. We had one penalty that knocked us out of field-goal range and then a turnover by myself. Those are things that we have to do better on, specifically on the road if you’re going to be a good football team. I was proud of the way the guys fought in the second half, but in this league it’s about every snap and we have to find a way to be better every snap.”
Q. What was it like waiting and hoping you get the ball back to take the lead on the two defensive possessions?
A. Yeah, that’s part of it when you’re battling to get back into a game. Our defense did a nice job a couple of times of getting us some three-and-outs and getting us going. I thought offensively we capitalized on some opportunities in the second half, but there are plays all throughout the game in every quarter of this football game that we’ve got to make in order to come out on the right side of the win column.
Q. You had Devonta Freeman going a little bit but then you got behind and couldn’t go with it?
A. I thought that when we ran the ball, we ran it really well. I thought our offensive line did a good job. Again, when you fall behind you’re going to have to throw it some more to get back into the game. But when we did run the football, we ran it very efficiently.
Q. Considering the team penalties, how do you guys try to move forward and get those eradicated?
A. I think everyone is angry with not performing the way we can. The penalties, the turnovers and those types of things – we’ve had too much of that the first couple weeks of the season. We had too much of that today. Those are thing we’ve got to clean up to be a better football team. A lot of them we can control. The procedural stuff – the pre-snap penalties – that’s on us and that comes down to discipline. We’ve got to be better across the board as players when we get our chances.
Q. What did you see when you looked back at the interception? What went wrong? What maybe did you want to do differently there?
A. Check the football down and understand that we’re in a spot where we’ve got three points on the board with Matt (Bryant) as our kicker – get the football to an outlet, keep moving it. We did a nice job of that most of the day. But at this position and in this league, its every snap. You’ve got to make great decisions every snap and that was a poor decision on my part.
Q. One of the positives was Austin Hooper, there is no doubt he’s going to be a threat for you. Can you talk about that and him being a threat for you?
A. Austin (Hooper), he’s done a great job for us. He’s been reliable catching the ball in congestive situations and running with the football after it. He’s doing all we can ask from him. He’s played well for us so far. You talk about areas he can play too, there are some things we’re doing well. It’s about cleaning up the handful of things here and there throughout a game that can really allow us to reach our potential. We’re not there yet. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get there. It doesn’t just happen, we have to work it into existence and that’s what our focus has to be to get back to work tomorrow and be a better football team next Sunday.
Q. As a team leader, how bad did it hurt to see Keanu Neal basically in tears after that injury?
A. Awful, he battled so hard to come back from an injury last year too. You see someone go down and you see all the work they put into it, then having to deal with that again today is tough. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great competitor. He loves this game so much and you never want to see guys go down. You understand their disappointment and frustration.
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