PHOENIX – Following their 53-32 loss to the Houston Texans, the Falcons didn’t return back to Atlanta but rather continued further westward to spend the week in Arizona ahead of their Week 6 matchup with the Cardinals.
The Falcons are in search of answers after starting the 2019 season with a 1-4 record. Atlanta has been tweaking things in practice since the beginning of the season to find the right formula, perhaps some time in the desert is what the team needs to get on track.
“Just being here in [Arizona] is another adjustment,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “I think that’s a good one. They’ll have time to watch things together. They’re here at the hotel together, so it’s kind of like being in isolation where you get extra time to devote to our game to do things together. Just being here is one of those changes.”
After landing Sunday evening, the team wasted no time before getting to work. Quinn explained that the defense met last night and again Monday morning to go over a five-game compilation of their play this season. With a sample size of five games to work with, the Falcons are searching for common issues to correct.
The defense is coming off of its worst performance of the season. The Texans gained 592 yards of offense against the Falcons, including 426 yards through the air. Deshaun Watson completed 28 of his 33 pass attempts and tossed five touchdowns to earn a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. Houston converted 77 percent of its third downs and scored on eight of its 10 drives.
Atlanta’s players won’t have to shake off that loss alone. Now in close proximity with one another throughout the week, the Falcons will have plenty of opportunities to meet in groups to fix the issues.
“We all got together,” Quinn said of the defense. “We didn’t make it about just one game, we put the whole thing together. It was a difficult day for us, but we got in here last night and we met as a defense. We got together again this morning, and we got together with the group. We had a good day.”
The Falcons began last season with a 1-4 record before rattling off three wins to reach the 4-4 mark halfway through the season. A matchup against the Cardinals, who are coming off their first win of the season, might be what Atlanta needs to build some momentum before returning home.
With a week of isolation, the Falcons are hoping to begin to find a rhythm. The second half of the schedule is no cake walk for Atlanta, and the Falcons can’t waste any more time. But with some time away from all of that noise, maybe the Falcons can locate that spark they need.
“That’s why being on the road together for a week [is a good thing],” Quinn said. “You never know when you’ll need something, but this is one of those times where we certainly do to get us on our road to playing like we’re capable of all across the board.”