GREEN BAY, Wisc. – Every game’s outcome has its own different story, but for Dan Quinn there’s been too many times in the Falcons’ nine losses the theme has been the same: Costly penalties, droughts of not being able to score and turnovers.
“There were periods of not getting stops. Not scoring. And too many times the result of that was penalties, mistakes and turnovers,” Quinn said following the 34-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. “And for us to be the team we need to play like, that can’t be our identity.”
The Falcons had 13 penalties for 101 yards and two turnovers on Sunday at Lambeau field.
That’s not the style the Falcons expect to play and win.
One of the turnovers came from Matt Ryan that resulted in a pick-six for the Packers. The next turnover came on a muffed snapped between Ryan and center Alex Mack as wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was in motion and was hit on the snap.
Ryan took responsibility for both turnovers.
But it wasn’t just the turnovers that cost the Falcons the game. Combine them with the amount of penalties and it was simply too much for the Falcons to overcome.
After scoring on their opening drive, it appeared the Falcons offense could get on a roll they were hoping for. But after the pick-six that took place with a little over six minutes to go in the second quarter, the Falcons were down two scores.
When the Falcons defense needed a stop before the half, they couldn’t get one. Green Bay (5-7-1) would start the second half with the ball, so if there was a time Atlanta’s defense needed to get off the field, it was the third-and-6 following the two-minute warning.
The exact opposite of what the Falcons (4-9) needed to happen, happened. Aaron Rodgers escaped the pocket for a run of 16 yards and the Packers stayed on the field. Green Bay extended the lead, 20-7 at the half.
Rodgers and Co. went down and scored a touchdown on their opening drive making it 27-7 and the Falcons were never able to catch up and the Packers didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal.
All week Quinn had preached the importance of winning the turnover margin and getting back to the competitive and tough brand of football he expects from his team. Although he saw fight in his team, the identity he expects and what he sees during the week from a preparation standpoint is not coming through on game day.
“Our style is clearly not carrying over [into] game day and that’s been the case too many times this year,” Quinn said.
A lot of that comes down to execution. You’ve heard various Falcons players mention that word as something they have not done on a consistent basis.
And according to defensive end Vic Beasley, they came up short in that area, yet again.
“We weren’t able to put a full game together,” Beasley said. “We have great players on this team. But it comes down to execution. That’s what it comes down to. The best teams execute at a high level.”