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Falcons Have No Chance If Offense Continues To Struggle


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Falcons have no chance if offense continues to struggle

By Vaughn McClure

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A while back, wide receiver Roddy White said he believed his Atlanta Falcons had enough firepower to average 30 points per game.

White should have put this disclaimer behind his statement: only if Matt Ryan has adequate time to throw and get the offense into a rhythm.

Such was far from the case during Sunday's 29-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. This high-octane Falcons offense looked rather pedestrian in scoring 20.3 points less than their season average. Ryan, who completed 29 of 44 passes for season-low 228 yards and a touchdown, was sacked a season-high five times and was hit nine times. The Falcons managed a mere 4-of-15 on third down. And the third-ranked offense in the league set a new season-low with 254 total yards.

"We've got to play ahead of the sticks, and we're not doing that right now," said White, who has nine catches for a season-high 100 yards in defeat. "It's frustrating because we're going out there and we're digging holes and we're basically putting ourselves in them. We aren't getting out of them. It's hurting our defense. It's hurting our team.

The Falcons struggled to protect QB Matt Ryan, who was sacked a season-high five times.

"Right now, we're just not that good on offense."

The line took its share of the blame for the woes. Losing center Peter Konz was far from the main reason for the protection issues.

"We didn't give Matt enough of a chance to make things happen down the field," said left guard Justin Blalock. "[The Ravens] played well. They played very, very well. They got after us, were able to exploit some things in protection. And obviously, they are very good players on top of that. They came out and played their ***** off today."

The Falcons sit at 2-5 and have lost four in a row as they prepare for a week-long stay in London for next Sunday's matchup with the Lions. Any hope of ending the losing skid depends on fixing the sudden issues on offense, particularly if the defense shows the type of improvement it did Sunday.

Ryan really had no chance against a strong Ravens defensive front that swarmed from all directions.

"When you go out there and get beat soundly, I think everybody knows we've got to play better across the board," Ryan said. "We've all played football for long enough to know when you're getting your butt kicked, you've got to do something different and something better.

"I think across the board -- offense, offensive line, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers -- we've got to do this together. We've got to become better today. Hopefully, we're able to find a way to get that done this week."

Twice in the third quarter, the Falcons failed on fourth-down plays as they trailed 20-0. One was a fourth-and-7 play from the Ravens' 37-yard line which resulted in Ryan getting sacked for a 12-yard loss. The other was a fourth-and-1 play on the very next drive when Ryan threw a short pass to Devonta Freeman, who got thrown down for no gain.

"The first fourth down that we had, we had a little drive going and it was right out of the half," White said. "I felt like if we would have got that and could have just gone down and scored a touchdown, we would have been A-OK.

"It's frustrating, especially when your coach is pushing the pedal to the metal. [Coach Mike Smith] is giving us an opportunity on offense, going for it on fourth down instead of kicking field goals. He's giving us chances that we have to go out there and execute. That's not on the head coach. That's not on the coaching staff. That's on the players."

The season continues to look like a lost one as the Falcons play their next three games away from the Georgia Dome. They haven't won a road game since Week 13 of last season against Buffalo in Toronto. The only thing working in their favor is a weak NFC South, with none of the four teams above .500.

"It's tough, but nothing is impossible though," receiver Julio Jones said. "We just have to keep fighting. We can turn this thing around if we get going. We can be 11-5, you know that though? We can be 11-5."

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32nd ranked OC Cooter hired for Cheap,

what do you expect would happen when he got the keys?

Believe it, or not,

losing OC MM killed our chances for the bowl!

Losing TOP every week since he left has cost us big time.

This board erupted with displeasure when Koetter was hired. Who hires Jacksonville's coordinator - the one who coordinated the worst offense in the league? I hate it when the fans have more common sense than the front office angry.png .

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