This season, LB Tully Banta-Cain is splitting time with QB Alex Smith reviewing the previous game each week. It's Banta-Cain's turn this week, so find out what he had to say about the loss to the Falcons.
I think the biggest thing that sticks out from Sunday is that we really let a very important game slip away from us.
At this point I think the biggest key to the rest of our season is not letting these losses define us or affect our will to get better or our will to win.
There's a mentality you have to have in this league, an expectation of winning. No one expects to lose, but I still think after six weeks of losses, not everyone expects to win right now either. I think our expectations aren't high enough right now. We know that we work very hard to prepare and that we work very hard on Sunday, but I think we've got to find that refuse to lose attitude.
At this level, it really comes down to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes and we are just not playing mistake free football. It really doesn't matter how much talent you have, if you can play mistake free football, you are really hurting your chances to win.
On both sides of the ball, we are making too many mistakes and I think that's the first problem we need to alleviate if we want to give ourselves a chance to win.
Some of the problems we had defensively stemmed from some communication issues.
On the 3rd and 19 play that they hit on with the 20-yard throw to Roddy White, that was just a lack of communication on the call. We weren't all on the same page with what the coaches wanted us to do.
I know on another play we weren't even out of our huddle and the offense was lined up and ready to go and nobody was in position. Little things like that cost us.
Warrick Dunn got some big runs. It's a credit to him because he's a good back and very quick, but his success also stemmed from the fact that we just didn't finish plays. If you look at the 3rd and 1, we had him stopped in the backfield, but he ended up working his way out of the tackle and shot out of their for a 9-yard touchdown run. He should have been stopped, but we just didn't finish the play.
We were getting some pressure on Joey Harrington and he did have to hurry some throws but we only got one sack. We need to get more up front and that goes in tandem with the backend. We really have to buy each other time so we can come up with more sacks and continue to force bad throws. I take it personally because I did feel like I was getting some pressure on him, but a lot of times he managed to get the ball off right before I could get there. One time I had him and I ran right by him and then ended up getting pulled down. Unfortunately we didn't get a holding call on it, which is something officials don't call too often so you just have to overcome that and get there. He ended up scrambling for a big run, and I really took that personally because I could have had him.
Michael Lewis' pick was big. It was a big turning point and it came at a great time. It was just a good break on the ball – kept his eye on the ball when it popped up and gained some yards. I thought he might have scored with it, but it was still big for us.
I really thought we were going to win that game at that point. Our offense had moved the ball better and had marched down there at the start of the quarter, and I just thought we were going to pull it out. We definitely had opportunities to win it, but we just didn't take advantage of enough of those opportunities.
We had some good plays out there, but we had too many bad ones. Missed tackles are still happening and that's hurting us. I really believe we are our own worst enemy right now and we've got to start playing smart football. You are going to make mistakes but nine times out of ten if you make fewer mistakes than your opponent, you are going to end up on top with the advantage.
We did some good things out there, but we didn't finish it out and you've got to be a team that can finish in the NFL. We've got to eliminate our mistakes, play smart football and finish if we want to turn this thing around.