Falcons React to Week 8 Loss to Lions

Falcons head coach Mike Smith described what took place with the Lions field goal attempt and penalty at the end of the game: "You know, that's football. He missed it and it was a delay of game penalty. The clock was stopped, so there was not going to be a 10‑second runoff. If the clock would have been running it would have been a 10‑second runoff, the way it was explained to me, and I thought we were going to squeak one out. Obviously, we didn't. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make in the second half."

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on how to handle being 2-6, knowing that since 1990, no 2-6 team has made the playoffs: "We've got to be the first one to do it. I think that's got to be the mindset that we have to have. This is probably as tough a loss to take as any I've been a part of and I really feel like we had a lot of different chances to win that ball game and consistently didn't make plays when we needed to. We've got to find a way to get better over the course of the bye week and I think everybody needs to look in the mirror and self‑critique and really ‑‑ when we get back to work, have a great mindset and a great sense of focus."

Ryan described the performance of rookie center James Stone: "I thought James did a very nice job. It was his first time starting and going against a really, really good front four; I thought James played extremely well. He was on point with his calls and kind of getting everybody on the same page up front. I'm very, very happy with the way he played."

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White summarized the 22-21 defeat: "It's tough. It's a tough loss. We thought we would have won this game. I thought we had it in the bag and it's just disappointing to lose that way. I felt like our team played hard. I felt like our defense played good and I felt like in the second half, we didn't do much on offense, especially on third downs; we didn't get any except in the four‑minute drive, but prior to that, I don't even think we got 100 yards in the second half. It was frustrating. It was frustrating, especially on the offensive side, just coming out and just basically taking the ball up and down the field, throughout the first half; it was difficult, coming into the second half and not getting anything going."

White on thoughts about the remainder of the season: "We're in a position right now where our division really isn't that strong and if we can just get something going and get one win and just continue to just build off of that, but this is going to be a hard one to take, because we expected to win this game and this is where we were going to make our stand in the division and just continue to get better as a team. I think we were up emotionally for this game. We wanted it and we just didn't find a way to get it done." 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones described the team's mood at halftime: "The atmosphere in the locker room was very good. We were just going over everything that we could do in the second half to continue to keep going out there and scoring points, but obviously we didn't do that in the second half. We came out and were too flat and we didn't finish. We didn't make the plays."

Jones described his final play in the fourth quarter: "It was 3rd‑and‑10 and I was just trying to make a play, just trying to do too much in that situation. I should have just caught the ball and just went down, even if I didn't gain a yard, we still could have run some time off the clock."

Jones on how to move on from being 2-6: "We've just got to get guys healthy, stay positive and just keep working. For us in that locker room, we've just got to believe in each other. We've got to find a way to win. We were up 21‑0 and we found all the right ways to lose that game."

Falcons running back Steven Jackson on how the offense dominated in the first half and not in the second half: "What's frustrating is that the guys go out every week and they give their all, practice really efficient, show up to work with a purpose and for whatever reason on Sunday, we're not putting four quarters of good football together. It's not the lack of effort; it's not the lack of care. This team, this locker room, they go out each and every Sunday expecting to win and that's what you want to see. I can't answer why things don't work out the way it should, but as one of the leaders in the locker room, I can tell you guys are working hard."

Jackson assessed the time in London: "The UK crowd is very knowledgeable of the game. They were into it. You can tell, over the years, from 2007 to now, they understand third down, punts and when to make noise for the home team. So, the knowledge base of the UK has grown tremendously and I think that happens, because now you have more and more teams coming and showing the game and playing it the right way, where you have the stars playing and the interest in the game is there for four quarters."

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