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Atlanta Falcons Discuss Key Moments in Week 9 Loss to San Francisco 49ers

The Atlanta Falcons dropped a 17-16 contest to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Take a look at what the NFC South club said about the game in this quote roundup.


Did you want to go for it on fourth down there at the end?

"No, I trusted in [Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan] Q [Quinn] and I thought he made the decision that he was confident our defense would get the stop. I felt like we were going to have a chance to go down the field and get the field goal to win. That's part of the game but everyone in this organization and in that locker room has Q's back. We believed in the decision at the time and we thought our defense was going to get it done. But from an offensive perspective we had three opportunities to punch it in before that. That's where we've got to get it done."

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman doesn't touch the ball on that drive inside the 10. I'm not questioning the play calling but could you explain that?

"Just the way they played us. Obviously we had play calls designed to use Devonta. But the way they played us in those situations dictated the ball goes to another spot. That's just part of the deal when you get into the red zone and they pressure. You have to use your pressure options and we did that. We just didn't find a way to get it in the end zone."

In various situations they seemed like they knew what was coming. Do you think you guys have become a little too predictable in what you're running and that you should change it up a bit?

"I think anytime you don't play up to your standards, we're all going to evaluate what we need to do differently. But from a play calling standpoint, I thought [Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] called a good game. From a player's perspective, we've got to make it work and that's always the mindset that I have. I don't think from a player's perspective we did enough to get it done."

What did they do to shut down your rushing attack?

"I thought they did a great job kind of setting the edge on us. Their outside linebackers did a great job on spilling it to their inside linebackers. I think [LB] NaVorro Bowman is one of the premiere linebackers in this league and I thought he played really well today."


The running game didn't get going today for really the first time this season. What do you think was happening out there?

"Much credit goes out to that defense man. They have some great players over there. They have nice schemes, stop the run, and they just did their job. They did a hell-of-a job actually. It still comes down to us making plays, create opportunities, taking advantage of the small opportunities. There were times when I could have made a better cut. On one play on third and short I got a first down but it could have been a bigger play if I would have kept my balance a little more. We have to take this 'L' learn from it and get better. This defense was really good and much credit goes to them."

It looked like they were really focused on setting the edge and not letting you outside. Was that their focus?

"I was talking to [LB NaVorro] Bowman at the end of the game he was like coming into practice 'we watched a lot of film on you'. He was like they know I am going to slash you if I get to the edge, it was going to be a long night for them. He said they just watched a lot of film and they set the edges on us and wasn't going to let me go outside and I respect that."

You got it down there at fourth down at the two. Did you guys lobby to go for it to get a chance to punch in a touchdown at the end?

"It was one of those things when coach thought we were going to get the ball back. We believe in him. I believe in him. It is just not happening like that. That time we learn from it, we don't go for it or whatever the decision the coach makes we are going to live with it. Whatever happens, happens."WR JULIO JONES

Going into the BYE Week how can you guys get back to the team that you were at the beginning of the season?"We just have to practice faster and it will carry over to the game. I feel like we are doing all of the right things time and time again. Our mindset going in was not turning the ball over and today we didn't turn the ball over.  Now we just have to continue to keep getting things fixed and play faster. Hopefully we will be back to where we need to be."

Can you talk about the performance of the team today?"We just have to play faster. We are doing all of the right things, we just have to play a little faster as far as getting in and out of the huddle."


It was another step back for the offense today, what was the problem out there?"I don't know. Our returner did an excellent job at getting us great field position all day long. It seemed like we were not moving the ball. I think we just have to play a little faster. We have to up-tempo the ball, get up to the line of scrimmage run plays and not let the defense dictate what we do on offense, but we dictate what they do on defense. They do a good job at holding coverages and waiting for the last minute to show things. Their safeties do a really good job of that. It confuses our quarterback because they hold stuff so late, but we just have to get up to the line of scrimmage and run plays. To make those guys line up as fast as possible, to know what they are in so we can get completions. It is a step back for us because the last couple of weeks we haven't been scoring. We thought that we would get off the slide this week and score a few touchdowns but that wasn't the case. So, we have to go back to the drawing board."

You guys didn't take many shots down the field, were they doing anything to keep you guys from going over the top?"I just don't think that we called that many today. We had some opportunities. We have to find some other ways to get some shots to get over the top of people. To get them to open up the window, so we can catch the ball underneath."

The run game didn't get going today. Did that contribute to the problem?"No, I think they just did a good job with setting the edge. They have some guys whom we watched on film all week that do a really good job at setting the edge and not allowing you to stretch them out. That is what they did today."


Another game when you guys moved the really well, is it just a matter of finishing off drives for you guys?

"We didn't move it as well today. There are a lot of things we could have done better offensively. They did a nice job on defense. They have a good defense. People look at records, that stuff doesn't mean anything in this league. They have a very stout defense. They have had a very good defense for a long time. They played well today. So you have to give them some credit. There are definitely some things we can be better at offensively."

A couple of these games here have been close. These are not games you are a stranger to. How do you assess the difference between the wins and the losses?

"It is all close in this league. You have to win close games. We have won some close ones and we have lost some close ones. Very rare do get those blow outs either way. It is little stuff here and there. Things we can get better at offensively from my standpoint there are little things all over the place where maybe we can extend a drive somewhere and get on the board. Defense held us in there. Again just like last week, everybody in the building, and everybody on our team thinks we are going to go win the game tight there. We have all the confidence in the world that we are going to do it. Whether we score there at the end, or whether we kick the field goal and stop them and get the ball back. Either way we felt that we had a chance to win the game, but you have to give them credit."

The last few games really have not gone your way, how important for you guys is it for you to keep perspective that you are still 6-3 and very much in everything as you come back?

"You hit tough stretches in every season in this league. There are very few times when you go through the course of a whole season and you don't have a little bit of a tough stretch somewhere. The key is can we get a little bit of a good streak going here? It will start when come back from the Bye. I think we need to get rested and get everybody recuperated for a little bit. Get away from it for just a second and come back refreshed and ready to go, and go make that run".


San Francisco 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert scrambled a little bit and got some yards did you guys expect that today?"We knew that he could run. Obviously, probably not as fast as Colin Kaepernick but he still could run. He made some plays. That third down play was a big run that he made at the end. Sometimes it happens like that but overall I think that we were solid."

Going into the BYE Week, what do you guys have to fix, what do you have to work on?"I think we just have to take advantage of opportunities. If the game is right there for us to win, we have to go and get it in all phases. We are going to be good, we play hard and we will put it together. We are 6-3 and we are still right in the thick of things."


It was a close game that didn't go your way. What are your thoughts as you go into the bye week?

"It's a little disappointing that we didn't come out with a win. But the focus is to take care of our bodies, get healthy and come back ready to take over and play better ball. In the second half of our season, we just have to understand what's in front of us, take it one play at a time, one game at a time and do it together."

How important is it for you guys to keep that perspective? You are 6-3 and still have a long way to go?

"We have such high expectations for ourselves. We're not looking at the 6-3. We're looking at games we allow to slip away from us because we weren't executing as well as we can. This bye week is coming at a good time because we can refocus, come back with some good energy and be ready to go."

Is it challenging for you to prepare for two quarterbacks?

"We didn't think 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was going to play. We had a good understanding of how the offense can change with him in there. Our main purpose was stopping the run. They did a good job managing the game today."

They didn't score in the second half. What was going better for the defense?

"Tackling was a lot better. We had a lot of guys wrapping up for tackles as opposed to a lot of solo tackles."

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