ATLANTA – When asked what Matt Ryan likes about the Falcons a quarter way through the season, Ryan started off by stating what he doesn't like.
"Well, I don't like our execution, that's for sure," Ryan said. "But I do like the way we play – hard, tough, physical and there's no quit. Those are qualities that if we can tighten things up and get things corrected and be better with our technique, those are things that are going to help you win games. We're a quarter of the way through the season and we have not played up to our standard."
The Falcons are 1-3 and have trailed at the half in all three of the losses.
Slow starts have crippled the Falcons as they have continuously put themselves in the position to always have to fight back. Through four games, the Falcons have been outscored 71-20 in the first two quarters of their games.
Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett says that is the No. 1 priority for the team moving forward.
"We have to start better," Jarrett said. "We get down early in the game and it's unfortunate that we are in the position where we always have to fight back. I don't even know if it's an energy thing, it's an execution thing to me. We [are] putting in work, on gameday we have to come out here and execute as a whole team. We have to get right."
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has to change the way he calls the game when the Falcons are trailing as far behind as they have been on a number of occasions.
It affects the way they want to operate and when the Falcons aren't able to run the ball as much as they want, it impacts what Ryan can do from a passing standpoint.
"The game got lopsided and we lose our ability to stay multi-dimensional," Alex Mack said of what happened in Atlanta's 24-10 loss to the Titans (2-2). "We just have to sit back and throw. They know we're throwing the ball, it's tougher to do."
The Falcons know they need to execute better from the opening kick and they'll have to do so on the road for the next two games as they take on the Houston Texans (2-2) and Arizona Cardinals (0-2-1) before returning to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 7.