Today's Early Bird Report includes several reactions and takeaways from Atlanta's 27-24 loss in Indianapolis.
The Atlanta Falcons dropped their second game of the 2019 season and are now 1-2 for the year. Both losses have come on the road, and although the Falcons scored touchdowns on all three of their second-half possessions against the Colts, it just wasn't enough in the 27-24 defeat.
There were plenty of reactions to the game, including one from ESPN's Vaughn McClure, whose primary takeaway was the high number of penalties the Falcons committed.
"The Falcons have to play with more discipline," McClure writes. "They were penalized 16 times for 128 yards on Sunday, including a defensive holding call on Damontae Kazee at the 10:33 mark of the fourth quarter when the Colts faced third-and-10 from their own 47 and Brissett threw an incomplete pass. It kept the Indianapolis drive alive with a first down and eventually resulted in Marlon Mack's 4-yard touchdown that proved to be the difference. 'You just can't hold. That's it,' Kazee said. Coach Dan Quinn, now coordinating defense, expects more, particularly with procedural penalties. In three games, the Falcons have accumulated 35 penalties for 264 yards. The lack of discipline needs to end, starting with the Titans next week."
Here are some other articles for Falcons fans to check out today:
NFL.com: What we learned from Sunday's NFL games
NFL.com writer Lakisha Wesseling also had some reactions to Atlanta's three-point loss. While she notes that a slow start in the first half really hurt the Falcons, the second half showed a remarkable turnaround and possible path forward to a victory. Unfortunately, the penalties proved too much to overcome in the end.
"The first half was brutal for the Falcons (1-2) but the second half was the exact opposite," Wesseling writes. "If it wasn't for penalties and missed tackles, the Falcons could have won this game. Matt Ryan's 13-yard touchdown to Austin Hooper was the drive they needed to start the second half. The Falcons controlled the ball from there. Ryan found Hooper again in the fourth quarter to cut the Colts' lead by one score. But then the penalties took over again and the Falcons kept missing opportunities to get the Colts offense off the field. A touchdown by Julio Jones in double coverage wasn't enough to win the game. The Falcons finished the game with 16 penalties for 128 yards."
To read the rest of Wesseling's reactions to the game, click here.
CBS Sports: Week 3 insider notes
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora was also tuned into the Falcons-Colts game, and he was not a fan of what he saw. In his piece recapping some of Sunday's action, he noted that in both of their road games this season the Falcons started slow and couldn't manage to catch back up.
"Yes, they had two pristine second-half drives to make a game of it in Indianapolis Sunday, but that was only after Matt Ryan threw his sixth pick of the season and the Colts marched up and down the field and led, 20-3, at halftime," La Canfora writes. "The Falcons couldn't come all the way back, cutting things to three at one point, and the Colts could have scored again late but chose to run out the clock – yet again, with the Falcons needing a stop, none came."
To read the rest of La Canfora's notes from the Falcons' loss, click here.