The Falcons dawned black jerseys, but there was too much red in the house; empty chair backs throughout. A sign that fans are growing Impatient. With so much entertainment in the city, even the NFL has to earn their presence. Dabo Sweeny head coach of the defending National Champions Clemson Tigers muttered a catchphrase after their nail-biting victory over UNC “ I guess they thought all we had to do was roll our helmets out there and we would win.”
I hope the Falcons don’t think all they have to do is play and they will come. Evidenced by the boo birds ringing out their disappointment, frustration has set in. The game announcer stated 72,108 tickets were distributed instead of the number in attendance.
Matt Ryan on hearing boos from the crowd:
“That’s part of it. When you’re playing poorly, you’re not giving them much to cheer about, you know, you get it. We want to give them something to be loud about, to make those plays, to keep this place rocking. We didn’t do that today. we’ve got to find a way to make plays to get the energy in the building going.”
This city is starving for a Super Bowl winner, and they want it now. With such a talented team, why not? There is a missing element they can’t seem to put their fingers on it.
Jake Mathews On what the team is lacking:
“We’re just not executing. It’s like, there’s a time when we’re rolling, but we’re not scoring enough points, obviously. We need to be more consistent and not hurt ourselves. We’ve got work to do. That’s the gist of it.”
As expected by a team coming off an emotional loss the Falcons defense began energized forcing the Titans into a three and out when they faced 4th and 14 on their initial drive. They repeated the feat of another strong stand yielding another three and out; optimism filled the air. It went away as quickly as it appeared. Marcus Mariota pulled the trigger with the quickness, a touchdown in 1 play and 12 seconds. A strike to AJ Brown, 55 yards later the score was 7-0 nullifying such an impressive defensive start.
The Falcons answered. Then the hiccups started Tyeler Davison committed two defensive fouls in three plays, defensive holding and illegal hands to the face. That was exactly what the Titans needed Marcus Mariota threw a perfect strike to the pylon high and away for AJ Brown to catch his second touchdown pass this one was for 11 yards.
Quinn On continuing to address the penalty situation:
“For sure, it was one of the topics we had from last week. We’ll continue on the same path of adding officials into our practice. I’ll have to look at the ones with Tyeler [Davison]. I don’t get a view of the ones of the hands to the face you guys may have up in the press box to see the fouls on Ty [Tyeler Davison], on the one inside.
The Falcons put together a decent drive until Austin Hooper dropped a pass that landed directly in his hands, disaster followed. Matt Ryan was sacked, he fumbled, Jurell Casey had pulled the double whammy a sack with a fumble recovery. Momentum and the Titians were best friends.
When asked about the fumble, Ryan said, “ It was a good play by them on the turnover today. Just it happens sometimes in the pocket. I felt like I had two hands on it and trying to move and [Jurrell Casey] just swiped it. That one was tough, but we’ve got to find a way to clean that up. Maybe I can go down quicker or get it out quicker. I’ll have to take a look at the film.”
Starting Guard Jamon Brown exited the game with a concussion. Proving he is human Julio Jones dropped a pass, a highly unusual occurrence, none the less, it happens to the best of them. Knowing he was seeking atonement, Ryan went right back to him with success. They also tried some trickery an end-around or shall I call it a wide receiver around with Julio it was stopped cold.
When it’s not going your way, it’s a good idea to get your best playmaker involved unfortunately the strategy fell by the wayside. Disaster struck again, the same defender Jurrell Casey, the same result a fumble this time he laid the lumber on Devonta Freeman, and the ball squirted out.
The teams changed directions surely the Falcon fans thought maybe that would offer some remedy, there was no luck. Marcus Mariota, whos not known as one of the best passers made his best impression of one. He released the ball before Corey Davis came out of his break, it was perfectly timed. The ball stuck to his hands, and he tipped down the sideline as the defender fell away for a 23-yard touchdown. The score was 24-7. The Falcons were in a familiar fox hole with the enemy, themselves.
Matt Ryan orchestrated a drive that made it to the 20-yard line before it ran out of gas. Matt Bryant tried to salvage, but the ball hit the upright and fell array with thirty seconds before intermission. It was that kind of day, a lot of effort, dropped balls and undisciplined play was out on full display. A truly bright spot in the first half was the multi-tool Mohamed Sanu who stood in for the injured Kenjon Barner as the punt returner, a position that goes unnoticed until something goes wrong, did an outstanding job. He is the backup everything including emergency quarterback and kicker truly a valuable resource.
Characteristically of the 2019 Falcons they were off to their fourth straight slow start. Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett said. “We have to start better. We get down early in the game, and it’s unfortunate to be in a position where you have to fight back, so we have to find a way to start better. I don’t even know if it’s an energy thing, it’s an execution thing to me. We’re a team that works very hard, players and coaching staff, throughout the week. We’re putting in work; just when it comes down to Gameday we have to come out here and execute as a whole team.”
To start the second half, It appeared as if though the Falcons sipped that leftover secret sauce used to wake them up in Indianapolis. They moved the ball down to the 14-yard line, right on cue, it fell apart, holding by Austin Hooper, followed by an incomplete pass. Calvin Ridley dropped it, that should have resulted in a first down granting a new series. Ryan tried to thread one into Sanu but was unsuccessful. Matt Bryant made good on the field goal giving the Falcons their tenth and final points.
Each successive possession saw the Falcons deep in the hole pressed up against their goal line looking at ninety-five and ninety yards to score. It was not to be, nothing no even the ball bounced favorably. The Titans outright beat the Falcons 24-10. It’s back to the drawing board staring at a 1-3 record closing out the first quarter of the season with head coach Dan Quinn on the hot season.
The Atlanta Falcons schedule reflects a two-week road trip starting with the Houston Texans next week, considering the friendly fire of the home crowd booing it might be a required prescription.