Sometimes you sit down to write your fingers take over, and the words flow, today I am numb my fingers are preferring not to move, surely the players and fans feel worse. Perhaps I am blinded by optimism, with me, the glass is always half full. Talent all over the roster, the front office has done an exceptional job putting a great product on the field signing all the key pieces, but the puzzle just will not come together. Is it undisciplined players? Is it coaching? Recall not so long ago he led them to the Super Bowl and was the best thing since sliced bread.
Matt Ryan, on the disconnect between
practice and not being able to execute on game day:
“That’s a great question, and I feel like the mindset, and the attitude has been there, and the effort and those kinds of things have been good. It really comes down to, about performance on Sundays. And so that’s one of the things we’ve got to evaluate, find out why what we’re doing during the week isn’t translating into what we’re doing on Sundays.”
Looking beyond the scoreboard 53-32 loss to the Houston Texans, this was the Falcons best game of the season, sounds crazy, I know. All the things they said they wanted to do, they did. They scored first, put up 32 points, and they still lost. Yes, those characteristically negative plays showed up in false starts, holding at the wrong time but they fought through them. They led by one point going into the half. Hope was alive considering their second-half performances in their previous four games. Their identity was that of a second-half team.
Matt Ryan on what the team was thinking going into halftime:
“Just thinking it was going to be — you know, we’re in a good spot, going to be a tight football game. It’s always good when you can score before the half. Your chances of winning go way up.
Suddenly they were down by sixteen points. Just as they dominated the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter, they got it handed to them on a silver platter. It was ugly, no other way to explain it. The Texans rattled off two touchdowns and a field goal for seventeen points and 224 total yards. The Falcons folded, delivering only 1-yard rushing and 46 yards passing. In the fourth quarter, they added 3 more yards. Allow me to summarize only 4 yards rushing in the second half.
It was a Flip Flop they started well, but it went all wrong, Coach Quinn said.
“Prior to the game, we obviously made an emphasis. You guys heard us talk about that of coming out stronger in terms of how we’d like to play. So to take a halftime lead, 17-16, certainly part of what we thought and went for. I thought the game totally changed in the third quarter with how many explosive plays, and that’s where I felt the shift took place. So, we’re disappointed across the board. One hundred percent gut-check time for us. Not what we expected. We got a week on the road together. We’ll head out to Arizona tonight, but we have to get things correct in our game together. So that’s what we plan on doing. At this point across the board, certainly the second half especially, it’s almost been a flip of what we’ve done prior. So that’s definitely maddening, but that’s where we’re at, and that’s where our focus will be this week to get our football aligned and play like we want and like we’re capable of doing. So that’s what we plan on doing.”
Matt Ryan finished the game 32-46, 330 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. Impressive numbers, but what do they mean if you don’t win. That is the source of the controversy that surrounds Ryan; he is a top tier producing quarterback statistically, but it goes unnoticed because of the won-loss record. Devonta Freeman had 11 carries for 30 yards. The run game was non-existence. They have to get more production for the offense to be dynamic.
Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson had a career day connecting on 28 of 33 passes for 426 yards and 5 touchdowns. Will Fuller had a field day 14 catches for 217 yards and caught 3 of those touchdowns.
Coming into the game, the Falcons were one of the most penalized teams in the NFL; today, they committed 7 penalties that cost them 63 yards. It’s not always the number of penalties sometimes it’s when they occur.
The Falcons fought hard, but they couldn’t get the ball to bounce their way; for example, Watson fumbles the ball, but it bounced right back to him. He threw what should have been an interception; the ball bounced off two defenders’ hands.
Take nothing from the Houston Texans they hands down were the better team, and they beat up on the Falcons to earn the victory.