As the Atlanta Falcons (3-7) fell to the New Orleans Saints (8-2) on Sunday, Matt Ryan was sacked eight times. All-Pro defensive end Cam Jordan led the way with three of the Saints' eight total sacks.
Ryan and coach Raheem Morris explained the protection issues weren't just a result of one thing, multiple factors contributed to performance.
They did a good job of rushing different packages the entire day," Ryan said. "They did a good job of covering on the back end. Tip your hat to them, they played well."
Morris said the Falcons' inability to get open down the field and Ryan not being able to get rid of the ball quickly played in why New Orleans was able to get home so often. The Falcons were without wide receiver Julio Jones' services for most of the game as he dealt with a hamstring injury.
Prior to the loss to the Saints, the Falcons hadn't had many games where protection was an issue. Atlanta's offensive line has been one of the most improved position groups and that's why the amount of hits Ryan took came as a surprise.
Ryan completed 19 of 37 passes for 232 yards and was hit 11 times. The Falcons were held out of the end zone with all nine points coming for field goals from Younghoe Koo.
"It was one of those days, we have to find a way to be better as we move forward," Ryan said. "We didn't do a good enough job today."
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints with top photos from Week 11