DETROIT — Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder took hit after hit in Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Detroit Lions, and then he voluntarily fell on the sword himself.
The Lions sacked Ridder seven times. That's more takedowns than Ridder had in the Falcons' first two games combined. It's two fewer than he sustained through last season's four starts.
Before Sunday, the most Ridder had ever been sacked in a single game had been four times.
Yet, instead of blaming the offensive line, he praised the unit.
"I'm not worried about those guys up front," Ridder said. "Those guys did a great job. I've got to get the ball out of my hands quicker, got to make better reads. Things have to move and happen fast better out there. … So, I wouldn't put it on them, more so myself."
Obviously, the offensive line didn't feel the same.
"Des was great all day," Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom said. "I mean, it's a hostile environment, a great environment, one of the best I've played in, and Des did a phenomenal job communicating to us up front with the protection. Because it's loud, it's hard."
Ridder ultimately completed 21 of his 38 passes for 201 yards. Sacks negated 62 of those yards. Therefore, Atlanta had 139 net yards passing.
Tight end Kyle Pitts had a team-high 41 yards receiving on five catches. He was targeted nine times.
The Falcons also had 44 yards rushing, led by running back Bijan Robinson's 33 on 10 carries.
"We weren't able to get into a rhythm," Lindstrom said. "We need to be better up front. We know that. But credit to (the Lions). They played a great game."
Six different Detroit players recorded a sack. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had two on his own.
The seven sacks broke down like this: two in the first quarter for a loss of 20 yards, two in the second quarter for a loss of 13 yards, one in the third quarter for a loss of 7 yards and two in the fourth quarter for a loss of 22 yards.
"They're different schemes," Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. "Obviously when you have some of the obvious drop backs, especially late, (that's) one or two of them. But some of them were on some actions and they beat us off the snap and it was right now. If it's the crowd, or whatever it is, we got to do a better job getting into that. We didn't even get the play started. It puts you all off on those."
The Lions had just one sack on their resume prior to Sunday, and that was over the course of two games.
Ridder, meanwhile, had been sacked four times in Week 1 and once in Week 2.
"Seven sacks, that's not a proud number for the offensive line," Falcons left guard Matthew Bergeron said. "But good games, bad games, we just got to figure it out and move on."
Just like Ridder did whenever he found himself on the ground.
"If he's getting back up, then we got to get back up," Falcons wide receiver Drake London said. "You just got to keep on pushing each other."
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions during Week 3.