NEW ORLEANS -- The storyline of the Falcons’ 31-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints was pretty simple according to head coach Dan Quinn.
“They were able to stop the run [and] we didn’t do enough defensively to make that a factor in the game,” Quinn said following the game.
In addition to four turnovers, the Falcons’ inability to get their run game going played a major factor in the way the game played out.
Atlanta’s offense is at its best when they have balance between the run and pass. The run game sets up their play-action offense, an area the Falcons have had a lot of success in this season.
Without being able to run, the Falcons’ offense becomes limited in what they can do.
The Falcons (4-7) have struggled all season to consistently run the ball, but Thursday night was their worst performance of the season. New Orleans held the Falcons to 26 yards on the ground with quarterback Matt Ryan as the leading rusher of the night with 16 yards.
Ryan was also under duress for majority of the game as he was sacked six times.
“We have to be better than that offensively,” Ryan said.
Heading into Thursday’s game, New Orleans was the No. 2 ranked rushing defense surrendering 77.9 yards a game. The Falcons’ defense gave up 150 yards on the ground to New Orleans, with Alvin Kamara accounting for 89 of those yards.
But at the end of the day, the Falcons knew they would have to find ways to establish the run and they weren’t able to do that.
“We knew they had played well against the run,” Quinn said. “We knew we would have to have some passes to try and set up the run game but not to get that part going was definitely a factor in this game.”
Certainly, it was and with a mini-bye on deck, the Falcons will get a chance to reset before the final five games of the regular season, three of which are on the road.
“We’ll go back through it hard and look at it and if there’s a change to be made we will,” Quinn said. “Nothing will stop us from what we need to do to get the job done.”
The Falcons face the Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana this Thanksgiving. Get your inside look here.