Here’s what the Falcons said after the 22-19 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday:
CALVIN RIDLEY, wide receiver
On the offense being sluggish: “We just have to play a little bit better.”
On winning out to make the playoffs: “Right now, I’m just looking at the next game on Thanksgiving night. We have to get us a big one.”
On moving forward: “Put it behind us and go back to work like we’ve been doing every week. Come out Thursday ready.”
On the offense overall: “They just played good D today. They just played good.”
On the drop: “Yeah, the ball got on me quick and he picked.”
On what Quinn said to the team: “Tough loss and we have to move on and get a big win in New Orleans.”
GRADY JARRETT, defensive tackle
On the team: “It’s a mindset. You have to make plays when they are there. You have to make good decisions all the way around. We have to find a way to come out on the (right) end. We’ve had a lot of games this year that came down to that last possession. We won a lot of those, but this year we’ve been on the wrong side of it. We’ve got to find a way to win. “
On the forced fumble: “It gets kind of messy in there. It was good to get the forced fumble, but we didn’t get it back. That was frustrating. That would have been a turning point. We just have to keep going after the ball. “
On what he plans to say to the team as one of the team leaders. “Ain’t nothing to say. Some times we talk too much. It ain’t nothing to say, but go back to work. Some times we talk too much. It is what it is. I mean, ain’t no excuse for nothing. That’s how I live my life. Ain’t no excuse. You’ve got to go work. You’re going to get whupped some times. You are going to lose some times, but what are you going to do when it’s time (man) up. We have to (man) up right now. That’s everybody checking their own selves. I don’t speak for anybody else. I represent the name on my jersey and the organization and everything like that. I love the fact that we get the opportunity to go back to work.”
On the tough loss: “We want to win every week. We know that’s the hard reality of the NFL. We’ve been in position to win, but we haven’t been able to finish.”
JAKE MATTHEWS, left tackle
On playing with more vigor after coming out flat in Cleveland: “We were prepared and ready to go. It felt like different parts of the offense was working well at times. We were missing here and there. I felt good on that last drive to go and tie it up. We were fully confident that we were going to get the ball back and win the game. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way. We have to keep working and bouncing back.”
On the quick turnaround to play New Orleans: “They are a really good team. They are playing well. Man, I think it’s, let’s learn from this. Wipe it clean. Get better from what we can from it. Get on to this game. Be fired up and ready to go. I’m fully expecting to win.”
On running the table like the 2016 Packers to get to the playoffs: “Stranger things have happened. I can say that we’re going to work hard. We’ll be ready to go. That’s where we are at right now.”
ROBERT ALFORD, cornerback
On the tough loss: “We just got walked over. But at the end of the day, we have learn how to finish games.”
On the playoffs: “At the end of the day, it’s about the next game. The playoffs are going to happen. We have to take it one game at a time. The thing that gets you to the playoffs is (wins) and that’s our main focus.”
On the last drive: “It just some things where we have to go back on film and improve on. ... I made a play up on the ball. I have to pick that off. I take all responsibility for that. A player of my caliber, I have to pick those off.”
On the Cole Beasley catch: “I was playing the technique and Dak scrambled or some junk. Beasley went to where the scramble was. I just have squeeze it more. Make plays.”
On moving forward: “The feeling in here is not what we expected. We are a great team. We just have to come back and play our tails off.”
DESMOND TRUFANT, cornerback
On the feeling of another last-second loss: “We just have to find a way to close games. We were in position, I thought we played solid for the majority of the game, and it was just a good game. I feel like both teams battled, and they just made the plays at the end to win so you just have to tip your cap to them.”
On the frustration behind losing on the final possession again: “At the end of the day when you get those [opportunities] you have to step up. We played solid for the whole game, but when we need it the most that’s when we have to step up. But it is what it is, all we can do is push forward now.”
On coach Quinn’s message to the team headed into New Orleans: “I mean obviously this one hurts but we don’t have time to really sit on this one. Whatever we’re feeling, we have to just use that for motivation for this week cause it is going to come quick. They’re a great team and they’re on a roll so we don’t have time to be tripping over this one.”
On not being able to recover Ezekiel Elliott’s fumble: “Turnovers are big. That definitely would have been big for momentum, but at the end of the day, we still have to be stout. Whether we get turnovers or not, if we get them off the field in four downs that’s like a turnover. We still had our opportunities to win, we just didn’t close it.”
AUSTIN HOOPER, tight end
On frustrations with the game: "The name of the game is to win as many games as possible, and we didn't get it done today. We all left plays out, myself included. There are a couple of plays I wish I could have back. At this point, all we can do is just learn from it, for better or for worst, flush it, and get ready to play a good team on Thursday. With a short week, all we can do is just worry about the next task at hand. This one is going to sting tonight, absolutely, we'll get the corrections, and tomorrow starts a new work week for us."
On the offense falling apart: "Mistakes. I thought it was zone when it was man, so I didn't do what I was supposed to do, and I was the primary look, so I killed the 3rd down, I killed the drive myself. So, when you guys look at TV and might not know what happened, I messed up, I ruined the drive for the organization. We all have to do better, I have to do better. I've been playing pretty clean, pretty good, in terms of assignments, but that specific scenario, 3rd and 8, I have to be more locked in. I made a rookie mistake that I don't make."
On the feeling that this team has to win out for the remainder of the season: "You can do whatever headline you want it to be, the goal is we have to win; we have to beat the next team in front of us so that has to be our mindset. And we all just have to keep improving, and keep working out the kinks, and play like the football team we're capable of being."
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