ATLANTA -- After a 43-3 loss to Dallas on Sunday and a 25-0 shutout against the Patriots on Thursday, it's been a difficult week for the Falcons, particularly the offense.
"I know the last five days have been tough," Matt Ryan said. "There's no question about it. It's been frustrating."
The Falcons were shutout for the first time at home since 1988. They have been outscored by their opponents 68-3 through the last two games. Atlanta hasn't gotten into the endzone since the fourth quarter of the Saints game two weeks ago. It's the first time since 1987 that the Falcons have not scored a touchdown in consecutive games.
Against the Patriots, the run game continued to struggle, with New England out-gaining the Falcons 134-to-40.
Ryan was sacked four times. He threw two interceptions, as did Josh Rosen and Feleipe Franks collectively. The Patriots had 12 quarterback hits on 32 Falcons pass attempts. And the Falcons offense was 2-for-11 on third down, only slightly better than their 1-for-11 third down conversion rate against Dallas five days before.
The difference between Sunday's loss and Thursday's loss is that the defense kept the Falcons in the game. Atlanta's offense had its chances to put drives together. It had its opportunities to capitalize on solid defensive play that gave the offense the ball back. But the Falcons didn't take advantage of those opportunities on Thursday. And though they were without their most dynamic offensive weapon in Cordarrelle Patterson, players and coaches say that's no excuse.
When asked what the most disappointing part of this offense's performance over the course of the last week is, Ryan said it was the overall lack of production.
"Whatever that is caused by, that's what's disappointing," Ryan said. "Our defense did a nice job of keeping us in the game the entire night even well into the fourth quarter."
When asked the same question, Arthur Smith said it is never just one aspect of a loss that is most disappointing. But he did add a note on execution.
"We're not executing," Smith said. "… There are too many penalties that are putting us behind. When you get into some of the fundamental mistakes you're making up front or on the perimeter, it's everything."
After the game, Smith's message was simple: The Falcons have fix things.
He said there were not a lot of things the offense can say it did well on Thursday night. The same could be said for Sunday afternoon, too. The last two games, Smith said, haven't been good enough.
"We're going to get out of this hole, because we have to and we will," Smith vowed. "We have the right guys to do it."
Smith said what makes him confident in making that statement is that the Falcons have "done it before." He noted that though it feels "ugly" in the present moment, there is evidence of success to build upon.
Ryan echoed the sentiment.
"There has been production, and good play throughout the year," Ryan said. "We have to find a way to get back to that."
Smith concluded the night by saying the Falcons have "to get things fixed all over the offense." With a weekend off, now is the time to dig in and do so. No one wants this week's losses to linger.
"It makes you angry. We know we're better," Jake Matthews said. "We have to fix it. That's what we intend to do."
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