The Falcons struggled to defend a Packers passing attack that has been one of the best in the league to start the season. Injuries played a role in some of Atlanta's miscues because of the miscommunication that occurred between some of the new faces in the lineup.
That miscommunication was apparent on a couple of Packers touchdowns where the receiver broke wide open. Tight end Robert Tonyan caught three touchdown passes on Monday night, and running back Aaron Jones scored the game's first touchdown after no defender covered him in the flat.
"For sure it was a factor from some communication and how could it not be with some of the guys it was their first time getting some access together after Kazee and Hawk left, but at the end of it, that's our responsibility to make sure we can nail those moments," Dan Quinn said. "Not an excuse, but certainly one of the factors. We're hopeful that we'll get some of the guys back this week that have the experience in the system and the communication being on-point like we would be accustomed to."
What we learned in Falcons' loss
Now through the first quarter of the 2020 season, the Atlanta Falcons are still searching for their first win. After falling to the Green Bay Packers on "Monday Night Football" by the score of 30-16, the Falcons are focused on making sure the second four games don't look like the first.
If Atlanta is to have more success moving forward, it will need to get more production from the offense. While the Falcons were able to move the ball at times against the Packers, they didn't do so consistently or hit on many explosive plays. That side of the ball stuck out to Jelani Scott, who wrote about it in his game recap.
"It was an all-sizzle-no-steak kind of day for a Falcons offense that statistically ranks among the NFL's best," Scott writes. "Todd Gurley (16/57/2) and wideout Olamide Zaccheaus (8/86) managed solid outings, but that was about it. After punting on their first two drives, the Falcons (0-4) strung together a 20-play, 94-yard drive that started on their 1-yard line … and it ended with a field goal. Matt Ryan was decent (28-of-39), but the bulk of his 285 yards came on drives that concluded with punts or a turnover on downs. Questionable designations shrouded Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley entering the night, but both took the field with the intention of making an impact. Neither would make a dent in this one. Ridley was held without a catch (five targets) for the first time since his debut in 2018. As for Jones (4/32), his night ended after he re-aggravated his hamstring injury and didn't play in the second half."
Julio Jones re-injures hamstring vs. Packers
As Scott notes, Julio Jones did not play during the second half of Atlanta's game against Green Bay. After entering the matchup with an ailing hamstring, Jones was officially ruled out for the second half due to the hamstring injury. With his first catch of the night, Jones became team's all-time leader in receptions, but he wasn't able to make the type of impact he often does.
Following the game, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said it was too soon to make any proclamations about the receiver's status for the next game.
"I think like all things, we'll see how he responds this week and if he's able to go against Carolina or not," Quinn said. "I know it's a short week but too early for us to tell if he'll be available at Carolina on Sunday or not."
Packers vs. Falcons: Aaron Rodgers goes off
Atlanta was able to make a handful of plays throughout the game to keep things relatively close until the fourth quarter, but the Falcons never truly got within striking distance of taking the lead late. Part of the reason for that, as Cody Benjamin and Jared Dubin write for CBSSports.com, is a late turning point at the end of the first half.
"Third down. Just under two minutes to go in the first half. Falcons down by 10," Benjamin and Dubin write. "And Matt Ryan gets sacked on a third-and-short, confirming a three-and-out right after an 11-play, 75-yard Packers TD drive. The momentum stays right with Green Bay, and the Pack proceed to march another 50 yards in 51 seconds, with Rodgers hitting Tonyan on a score to go up 20-3 right before halftime. The Falcons did pull things a bit closer early in the second half, but by that point, the deficit had already been built up too much.
Falcons to use drones to clean stadium
With limited fans returning to Mercedes-Benz Stadium beginning on Oct. 11 for the Falcons' Week 5 matchup with the Carolina Panthers, team officials have determined a solution for disinfecting the venue in the safest possible way. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Falcons will turn to drone technology to clean the stadium following games, according to an ESPN report by Vaughn McClure and David Newton.
"Mercedes-Benz Stadium partnered with Charlotte-based Lucid Drone Technologies for D1 disinfecting drones to sanitize areas," McClure writes. "The drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles for even distribution of medical-grade disinfecting chemicals that include an inhibitor that prevents bacteria and virus from adhering to surfaces without leaving a residue. The nontoxic hypochlorous acid solution is in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards, according to the company."
The Falcons have been working with top healthcare officials throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of its fans, players and associates. With fans set to return to the stadium, the organization is once again on the front lines of health and safety and appear to be the first professional sports team to implement drone technology to clean their stadium.
More headlines for Falcons fans
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Falcons could have three starters return
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Depth chart: Change at safety
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Everything to know about Panthers
- AtlantaFalcons.com: Tabeek's NFL power rankings
- CBSSports.com: Week 4 NFL grades
- NFL.com: Week 5 NFL power rankings
- AJC.com: Easier stretch for Falcons? No such thing
- AJC.com: Falcons set to re-sign J.J. Wilcox
- AJC.com: Quinn confident 0-4 start doesn't end division hopes