PHILADELPHIA – "Disappointed" was a word Matt Ryan used often when describing the Falcons' offensive performance in Atlanta's 18-12 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
After spending the offseason emphasizing their scoring offense, the Falcons' first outing didn't go as planned. Surely the reason why Ryan used the word "disappointing" to summarize his feelings.
The Falcons were 1 of 5 in the red zone, scoring just one touchdown on the night – a 9-yard Tevin Coleman run. The other six points came from a pair of Matt Bryant field goals.
"Tonight wasn't what we wanted for sure," Ryan said. "I really believe that we're going to make those plays moving forward. When we get those chances again we're going to come up with those plays. We're going to continue to work at it. I think we are closer. We're disappointed we didn't make those plays tonight but I'm confident that we're going to make them moving forward."
Atlanta's offense did have success moving the ball down the field, however. A big part of that was the play of wide receiver Julio Jones who caught 10 passes for 169 yards. The Falcons actually outgained the Eagles by 67 yards, which is why Ryan believes it comes down to "making a play here or there."
Ryan and Jones aren't in the business of looking back on the 2017 season and the red zone woes that occurred. It's a new year and a new team and they're focused on ensuring they continue to improve in the areas they feel they need to for this year's team to get where they want to be.
"We're not speaking on last year," Jones said. "We're talking about this year. It's one game, we're going to keep working. And I believe in it because [these] are my teammates and I'm with them every day and I see the work we put in to be good. Like I said, we went against a good defense today."
Not one Falcon is denying the Falcons came up short in their goal to be more efficient in the red zone, in fact, coach Dan Quinn didn't shy away from saying "our ability to score down there has to change."
The Falcons say that they are committed to getting this part of their game intact. The good news for them is that they have 15 more regular-season games to prove it.