NFL

Falcons’ Matt Ryan reacts to consecutive blowout losses after being shut out by Patriots: ‘It’s disappointing’

In Week 9, the Atlanta Falcons were disassembled by the Dallas Cowboys to the tune of a 43-3 and, four days later, they were attempting to quickly rebound and protect their home field against the visiting New England Patriots. They failed rather miserably in that mission, and Bill Belichick didn’t need rookie first-round pick Mac Jones to overcome a 28-3 deficit to take the win either, with the Patriots serving up a second blowout loss in a row for head coach Arthur Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan — the Falcons losing 25-0 in a shutout loss at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

That means the Falcons have scored only three points in their last eight quarters of football and, offensively, they’re playing some of the worst football of the Ryan era.

“It’s been a tough five days offensively,” Ryan told media following the game, via the team’s website. “It’s just across the board. We haven’t thrown the ball well enough. We haven’t run the ball well enough.”

Part of the Falcons struggles with running more plays is their inability to control the time of possession, and that bug jumped up and bit them again on Thursday night, albeit not as viciously as it did when they visited the Cowboys. And when the Falcons do have the ball, they’re not doing anything meaningful with it on the ground or in the air, rushing for just 43 combined yards and throwing for just 158 yards against New England, with no touchdowns whatsoever between the two attacks.

And what’s worse has been the fact that Ryan has now thrown four interceptions in his last two games, as his backups desperately try to keep pace — Josh Rosen having now thrown two in that same span while Felipe Franks also got in on that action by throwing an interception on the only pass attempt of his young career (on a curious play call by head coach Arthur Smith).

Ryan posted a career-worst passer rating against the Cowboys (21.4) before following that up with another poor one against the Patriots (51.6), and the fact he’s under siege isn’t helping the matter. Nothing on offense is going well, including the play of the offensive line, allowing the Patriots to rack up four sacks on the evening.

“I’ve got to be more accurate. We’ve all got to be more effective with what we’re asked to do in terms of the game plan,” said Ryan. “We got a nice little extra few days to take a deep dive into what we can do better moving forward. We certainly got to take advantage of that.”

Unlike on Sunday, the Falcons defense actually did put their best foot forward on Thursday, holding the Patriots to only 13 points deep into the game and an interception by cornerback A.J. Terrell helped put the Falcons in the red zone, but they came away with no points on that drive as well when they were stuffed on fourth-and-short. And not that it might’ve mattered but Younghoe Koo, who’s kicked well this season, even whiffed on a field goal attempt that would’ve at least prevented a shutout — as he was able to in Arlington. 

For Ryan, if there’s any one thing that’s upsetting him about the offense, it’s the overall lack of production (i.e., everything).

“Whatever that is caused by, that’s what’s disappointing,” he said. “Our defense did a nice job of keeping us in the game the entire night even well into the fourth quarter. There has been production, and good play throughout the year. We have to find a way to get back to that.”

They’ll have a mini-bye week to try and right the ship against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and then it’s another date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers — who have reinstalled Cam Newton as QB1 — and a scrappy club in the San Francisco 49ers. So if Ryan and the offense can’t figure things out, and quickly, they can bank on the wheels falling off of the season fairly soon, assuming they haven’t already.



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