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Early Bird Report: Reacting to Falcons' loss, looking towards the future

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today’s Early Bird Report includes reactions to the Falcons’ loss to the Packers and Atlanta’s turn towards the future.

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Every time it seems as though the Falcons have found some type of answer to a question they’ve had for most of the season, several more questions pop up to take its place. During their 34-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday, the Falcons ran the ball well and sacked Aaron Rodgers four times, matching their season high.

The result, however, was no different than it was the four weeks prior. Atlanta continues to search for answers for both the present and the future, as ESPN’s Vaughn McClure wrote about after the game.

"I said, 'As dark as it is, the men that will get it right here in these three weeks are the men that are standing in this room,'" Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "Just wanting it to get better isn't a great way for real progress. You've got to make changes that are consistent to playing better."

To read McClure’s piece on the Falcons looking to the future, click here.

Here are some other articles for Falcons fans to check out today:

NFL.com: What we learned from Week 14

Could change be on the horizon for the Falcons? That appears to be one of NFL.com’s Austin Knoblauch’s biggest takeaways from yesterday’s game for Atlanta.

“Last month, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said coach Dan Quinn wasn't the reason for the team's struggles, but it's apparent the Dirty Birds will be cleaning up some parts of the coaching staff this offseason,” Knoblauch writes. “It's remarkable how bland the Falcons (4-9) look on offense. After taking the lead on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to open the game, the Falcons went silent. Matt Ryan's season of bland then came into vivid display as Atlanta fell into a irrecoverable scoreboard spiral spurred by a missed field-goal attempt and a 46-yard pick-six by Bashaud Breeland. A big chunk of Ryan's 262 yards on 28-of-42 passing came with the game already out of reach. With the amount of offensive weapons the Falcons have, it's hard to fathom certain notable figures on the coaching staff won't be gone by January.”

To read the rest of Knoblauch’s takeaways from the game, click here.

AJC: Falcons have started to look to future

During Sunday’s game, there were a number of Falcons players who saw increased playing time. Per Dan Quinn, that was intentional. Ty Sambrailo started at right tackle over Ryan Schraeder, and Isaiah Oliver and Ryan Neal were also among the players who had their roles increased. As Atlanta closes out the season, it appears they will be evaluating for the future, as D. Orlando Ledbetter wrote in a piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’ve started that already,” Quinn said of evaluating for the future. “Ty is certainly one that we wanted to do. We’ll go back and look at the performance and see how it went. Same thing with Brian [Hill] and Isaiah. It wasn’t much past that. Ryan Neal was active. We put him on special teams. That was his first performance. ... Some were limited roles.”

To read the rest of Ledbetter’s piece, click here.

AJC: Quinn on 4-9 Falcons: ‘There’s definitely disbelief’

This season has been undoubtedly frustrating for the Falcons, who have not performed the way people both inside the team and on the outside expected. As Dan Quinn works to get things corrected as the 2018 season draws to a close, there was a little bit of reflecting after Sunday’s game.

“It’s definitely maddening and frustrating,” Quinn said of this season. “There’s definitely disbelief.”

Mark Bradley wrote a column on the Falcons’ frustrations and how their season has come to unfold for the AJC, which you can read here.

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