SEATTLE – Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was in a downcast mood after the Falcons victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
It wasn’t the gray skies or the rainy weekend spent in the Pacific Northwest, either.
For the second game in a row, White, the Falcons All-Pro wide receiver, had two dropped passes in the fourth quarter. One of his drops against Tampa Bay could have given the Falcons a lead and perhaps avoided a 16-13 defeat.
Against Seattle, his drops were not as crucial, but could have helped the offense run out the clock.
“Right now, I’m not playing at a high level,” White said. “I’m not really helping my team. I have to fix myself so that we can perform better. We’ll get better.”
White was targeted on 11 passes. He made six catches for 78 yards, including a 26-yarder that set up Michael Turner’s 1-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.
White overcame a problem with drops earlier in his career.
“Yeah, those are plays that I usually make,” White said. “I’ve just got to make them. I can’t keep putting my team in bad situations.”
White has been bothered by a deep thigh bruise he suffered in the preseason. He was listed on the Friday injury report as being questionable for the game. He doesn’t want to use the injury as an excuse, even though he hasn’t fully practice for the last two weeks.
“As long as I’m out there, I expect to play at a high level,” White said. “Hurt or not hurt, it really doesn’t matter. I just have to go out there and help my team win. I just have to get better.”
Rookie Julio Jones helped to carry the passing attack. He finished with 11 catches for 127 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game. He was targeted 17 times.
“Julio is doing a good job,” White said. “He’s going out there and making plays. He made some big plays today. We needed every last one of them. So, he just has to continue to be Julio, stretch the field and make big catches for us.”
Quarterback Matt Ryan, who completed 28 of 42 passes for 291 yards and one touchdown, plans to stick with White through this little rough patch.
“My thinking is, Roddy is going to make those plays,” Ryan said. “He has done it for such a long time and he’s going to continue to do it for us. It’s a long season. There are still a lot of plays for him to make and he’s going to make them. My confidence never wavers with him.”
White believes the offense needs to put two halves together.
“We can’t go out there and just play well and then be up and down, up and down,” White said.
“We are up and down every week,” Jones said. “We have to be steady. We just have to keep working on that as an offense.”
Jones was happy with his 11 catches.
“It went OK,” Jones said. “There is still a lot of room for improvement.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog