Atlanta Falcons: ‘Not worried’ about issues after first loss

Surely, there are a few positives for the Falcons after their first defeat of the season.

For starters, they finally are freed from having to talk about being undefeated, the possibility of finishing undefeated and the increasing public scrutiny that goes along with all of that.

“No,” cornerback Dunta Robinson said the day after Atlanta’s 31-27 defeat at New Orleans on Sunday. “I’d rather much be answering those questions and be 9-0 than answer these questions and be 8-1.”

OK, but it’s not as if New Orleans dominated Atlanta. The Falcons led 10-0 early, regained the lead after falling behind and then lost when they failed to score a touchdown on three chances from the 1-yard line.

The surging Saints and their fans were motivated against their hated rivals. The Falcons had no real running game and Saints quarterback Drew Brees had his usual assortment of big passing plays.

And yet Atlanta came up literally one yard short from winning. So that’s got to be something to build on.

“I don’t think there is any consolation in that,” Falcons center Todd McClure said. “The whole objective is to win football games and if you don’t, you go back and look at the areas where you fell short in and that’s what we will do today.”

The Falcons still have the best record in the NFC and a commanding lead in the NFC South. The only thing that’s certain now that wasn’t before Sunday is the Falcons won’t finish undefeated.

That never seemed realistic, anyway, though safety William Moore said, “We had something in mind” and “We want to be perfect” when told that losing in the NFL was almost inevitable.

“This loss right here is going to build the character of our team even more,” Moore said. “We’ve got some great guys in here. If you look at it this morning, everybody is ready to get back on it.”

The Falcons will see some familiar weaknesses during their self-examination.

The running game sputtered again New Orleans with 46 yards on 18 attempts and multiple failures in short-yardage situations. Stopping the run has been a season-long problem, too, as highlighted Sunday by the Saints’ Chris Ivory’s momentum-shifting 56-yard touchdown run.

Those shortcomings and others were evident while Atlanta won its first eight games. The Falcons knew it then and said so.

“I don’t think we needed a wake-up call (because) every Sunday there are areas you can improve on,” McClure said. “This team wasn’t asleep. We worked hard last week. We just didn’t execute like we should on Sunday. It’s tough to win a game on Sunday every week, much less nine in a row.”

The Falcons likely won’t win when it counts most if they can’t run the ball more consistently. More to the point, they have to find a way to get a yard or two in critical situations.

The Saints stopped running back Michael Turner on three runs when the Falcons needed a yard. The Falcons didn’t even try a running play on fourth down at the 1-yard line in the final minute after Turner was stopped on third down.

“We did not execute well,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We had too many unblocked guys in the hole.”

As Atlanta struggled to run for one yard, the Saints were able to change the game on Ivory’s one big run in the first quarter, after Atlanta posted a quick 10-point lead. Smith said the Falcons missed four tackles on the play.

Smith noted that Ivory’s 56-yard run skewed the numbers somewhat; New Orleans gained 92 yards on its other 28 attempts. Also, the Falcons were much stouter against the run after halftime.

Still, the Falcons rank third from the bottom of the league in yards allowed per rushing attempt (4.9 yards).

“It’s been an issue that has probably been our Achilles heel on the defensive side of the ball,” Smith said.

All NFL championship contenders have weaknesses. In the final analysis, the Falcons lost a close game on the road because New Orleans played well enough to exploit their flaws.

Now it’s up to the Falcons to prove they can shore up those weak spots.

“We will definitely get that done,” Robinson said. “We are not worried at all. We are a very good football team. We’ve got a lot of football left and we are going to do a lot of winning.”

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132 comments Add your comment

4BsihTneeS

November 13th, 2012
10:14 am

Man......

November 13th, 2012
10:17 am

Yes, the Falcons are first in the NFC south, and NFC Seen, nice you noticed.

Statick

November 13th, 2012
10:21 am

“We will definitely get that done,” Robinson said. “We are not worried at all.”

You should be worried, Dunta, with your bad angles and worse tackling.

4BsihTneeS

November 13th, 2012
10:22 am

In the final analysis, the Falcons lost a close game on the road because New Orleans played well enough to exploit their flaws.

Exploited and Exposed their flaws. More losses coming up.

cowbellhell

November 13th, 2012
10:26 am

Our safety play has been pathetic since the Denver game… will somebody who plays safety for the falcons PLEASE PLEASE hit somebody?! Decoud routinely whiffs on tackles and other than one solid hit I remember against the Aints, has anybody seen William Moore lately? These two better step it up cause they way the Aints went down the field on us at the end of the first half was down right embarrassing…

That being said we were without two of our three best defenders in Spoon and Grimes. Better tighten it up Nolan and get em hitting in practice.

Choke On My Grits

November 13th, 2012
10:37 am

@4BsihTneeS ….yeah more losses coming for YOUR team……they’re 4-5….remember!

RobbE33

November 13th, 2012
10:40 am

If the defense can minimize the distracting smack talk and the offense can regain the chip on their shoulder they should be able to peak in December when it matters most. Getting smacked around in November may be the best thing to happen to this team.

lowdownjj

November 13th, 2012
10:49 am

We gotta get the short yardage issues fixed somehow. But it could be worse @BS-knees, we could be rooting for a dung heap team fighting to get to .500

David

November 13th, 2012
10:50 am

Hey D-led, I told you at the begining of the season that Turner was over weight and tip toed to damn much and you defended him, great running back make holes not run into the back of his on player, Now do you think he is a great running back ? I didn’t think so.

Singletary

November 13th, 2012
10:54 am

Dear Dirk — Naked Bootleg. There are no A or B gaps with this offensive line. Signed, A Fan

Mike is Back

November 13th, 2012
11:00 am

Dled, I agree…no worries…however there should be some concern…when you can’t run the ball on one of the worst team in the league against the run…that’s got to be a concern. I still think to jump start the running game…we gotta get Rogers out in space…where he can get matchups with linebackers.

Anyway time to move on.

RISE UP BIRDS…LET’S GO…LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve

November 13th, 2012
11:01 am

Let’s not forget Roddy not running through his route at the end and playing for a penalty instead of a touchdown. Running game is the joke of the league. 48 yards against the statistically worse run defense in the league. I know we were not going to win them all but we played this one not to loose and that’s exactly what it got us.

The Real Fan

November 13th, 2012
11:03 am

Will be there early for the tailgate and to watch us take it out on Arizona!

David

November 13th, 2012
11:04 am

What the hell do you mean a commanding lead,see where we are at in four weeks if we dont step it up, remember we have the aints one more time and Tampa twice, that coul be three losses.

BillyBob

November 13th, 2012
11:04 am

There ain’t not mystery in not getting the one yard. Not enough muscle on O line and not enough speed at running back.

The Real Fan

November 13th, 2012
11:04 am

Roddy was not the reason for the loss. It was a team effort. Better blocking, better tackling. better pasing in the endzone. Team effort.

Answer This

November 13th, 2012
11:05 am

Did someone say something about flaws? 4-5 Flaws? Hey we played a tough Kansas City team in our own backyard and we………we………lets move on! That was a minor flaw! We lost four in a row and we……..we………are schizo………up 4 weeks………..down 4 weeks……….but we have no FLAWS, only bounties! Get it right!
Rise UP Nation!

GregKennesaw

November 13th, 2012
11:06 am

Everyone put your hands in the air, cause Turner runs like he just don’t care.

GregKennesaw

November 13th, 2012
11:06 am

Start Snelling

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

November 13th, 2012
11:08 am

DOL, more later in the week…but the apparent story is becoming about
why Coach Smith refuses to give Jason Snelling a shot to run the ball. #44 blocks, runs well and is an
excellent receiver out of the backfield. How much longer will the Falcons make excuses for Turner. We held open competition at lineman position, cut the starting fullback mid season…
when will we give another runner a try? 13 yards on 15 carries is horrible.

DOL, why are we so wedded to Turner? At 8-1 with a shot for a major run in playoffs, I would hate to see it all squandered over Turner again. Check stats…as a falcon he has been non existant in playoff games and in big games.

Please let us know.

FBD

sam

November 13th, 2012
11:14 am

I remember a couple of years when Turner was hurt Snelling responded with an awesome game. as the feature back. Seems the answer we’re looking for may be right there.

Blake

November 13th, 2012
11:17 am

DOL,
I agree with the last two comments. Why won’t the Falcons admit that Turner has lost his burst and just can’t seem to move the pile? He’s 247 pounds. He should be able to push the pile forward for a yard. McClure made it clear that not all of the run woes can attributed to the o-line. It’s so frustrating every week to watch him bumble around and fall forward for 2 yards.

Answer This

November 13th, 2012
11:19 am

They putting the LIGHT on you to ask the TOUGH QUESTIONS DLED…………what you going to do?

Woffman

November 13th, 2012
11:21 am

Try Beirmann at MLB–I know he would be a liability in coverage, but it would be nice to have a thumper that stop a running back in the hole…tired of seeing us gashed for big yards. Then all you’d have to do on passing downs is sub a corner for DL and blitz 71 somewhere which is pretty much what Nolan is doing now.

Esquire

November 13th, 2012
11:22 am

4BsihTneeS
November 13th, 2012
10:22 am

In the final analysis, the Falcons lost a close game on the road because New Orleans played well enough to exploit their flaws.

*********************************************
Hey ….SuxThisBZERO………where ya been? We had a missing child Amber alert during the game on Sunday. We were all wishing it was you.

Note: No harm came to any children during the making of this slam.

yellowfever

November 13th, 2012
11:23 am

Blake, if Turner could bumble around for 2 yards we would be 9-0 right now. nuff said

Esquire

November 13th, 2012
11:25 am

4BsihTneeS
November 13th, 2012
10:22 am

In the final analysis,
***************************************
In the final analysis…………….really, you are done. Seriously, take a break …..catch a breath of fresh carbon monoxide.

Esquire

November 13th, 2012
11:27 am

yellowfever
November 13th, 2012
11:23 am

Blake, if Turner could bumble around for 2 yards we would be 9-0 right now. nuff said
************************************
I would go for a QB draw here and there…………if Ryan has time to slide.

htwo0rider

November 13th, 2012
11:28 am

Preach on DOL. Snelling deserves a look. Moreover, why not try Jaquizz in the goal line situation? They sure miss Ovie Mughelli

ppeck50

November 13th, 2012
11:28 am

OMG, why isn’t Dirk running a boot leg with Ryan around the end. Why? He is OK fast enough. Everyone is keying in on Turner, who would expect a naked bootleg? They have never done one in YEARS !!!! Why?

Blake

November 13th, 2012
11:29 am

Yellowfever,

Good point! I guess the point is that Turner isn’t doing anything of great significance anymore. He’s getting most of his yards in garbage time and he get’s tripped up by tackles that Ray Rice and MJD break on a regular basis. What’s wrong with getting rid of him or benching him, DOL? Loyalty? Fear?

ppeck50

November 13th, 2012
11:29 am

Oh yeah, who has the strongest jumping legs to spring that 2 yards in the air? Quizz? Jones?
Who ?

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:31 am

Where’s Antone?

ppeck50

November 13th, 2012
11:32 am

No pass rush Sunday either. I mean none !! Why didn’t they send dent in ? Brees was picking us apart…… Imagine if Sproles was in ????

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:35 am

Antone, Antone, wherefore art thou, Antone?

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:38 am

I am here, old man, on the bench!

Falcons RiseUp

November 13th, 2012
11:39 am

We need to start Antone Smith as RB get some fresh feet in the backfield & our O-line need to strengthen up a better protection for the run & Defense need to improve on tackling plus stopping the run

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:40 am

Why doth thou not playeth, oh swift one?

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:41 am

I knoweth not old man, I knoweth not.

MontanaDawg

November 13th, 2012
11:42 am

As usual, wake me up IF the Dirty Birds ever make it past the 1st round of the playoffs…otherwise, I’m wasting precious time when I could be sleeping. The Texans or the Bears would destroy these Birds.

Esquire

November 13th, 2012
11:42 am

Man……
November 13th, 2012
10:17 am

Yes, the Falcons are first in the NFC south, and NFC Seen, nice you noticed.
******************************************
I know, he keeps striking up the band for us…………………..which reminds me, I forgot to
cue the conductor the other day:

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

old man

November 13th, 2012
11:46 am

Antone, Antone, thou with the swift legs and pads low to the Earth—fear not!!!!

The day approacheth when your winged feet will will fly like a bird, nay, like a Falcon!!!!

SimpleDawg

November 13th, 2012
11:48 am

Talk, talk, talk…..just a bunch of noise. How’bout backing up all that talk with a little nastiness.

Nastiness is not to be confused with useless chirping before the game…..stop talking about what you’re going to do and do it.

Achilles Heel……3rd & 1. Can’t get the tough yards. I know the portly RB is slow to the hole, but there’s way too much penetration into the backfield.

SimpleDawg

November 13th, 2012
11:50 am

Oh….and obtaining a top-notch RB should be a major objective of the Falcons’ brain-trust.

Esquire

November 13th, 2012
11:51 am

MontanaDawg
November 13th, 2012
11:42 am

As usual, wake me up IF the Dirty Birds ever make it past the 1st round of the playoffs…otherwise, I’m wasting precious time when I could be sleeping. The Texans or the Bears would destroy these Birds.
*******************************************
Not so fast. I think we take Da Bears!! 28th ranked offense, 30th ranked passing
Schaub and company 15th ranked offense, 23rd ranked passing but 8th in rushing, that would concern me.

Me too

November 13th, 2012
11:53 am

Dol a lot of be

Falcons RiseUp

November 13th, 2012
11:53 am

True our O-line need to step up & put up better protection for our run game

North FLA Falcon

November 13th, 2012
11:53 am

How about our punt return team? When was the last time Franks returned a kick more than 8 yards? When was the last time we put ANY PRESSURE on the opposing kicker, or even BLOCKED A PUNT? DOL can you research this? Sounds trivial but this is a concern. What’s the point of having a good stop on defense if the other team is going to back you up to your own 10?

IlikeTurtles

November 13th, 2012
11:54 am

I think the defense will get it together. We’re still learning all the phases of Nolan’s D, but we were also without Spoon. I think he could have made a difference in the game. I agree with Turner needing to be reduced to back-up behind Snelling. We have Cox now to play FB, let Snelling bash some yards out and Quizz get the change of pace snaps.All those carries seem to have had a major effect on the burner for the old man Turner. I don’t say completely give up on him, but let Snelling take half of his snaps at least. In this era of football a lot fo teams are using 3 running back, two bruisers and a change of pace. I think it’s what we need because we can’t afford to just dump the run game. that said, I’d like to see some toss sweeps and counters with Quizz. He has the speed to break the edge and in the open field he’s proven tough to get a hand on.
We’ll be alright, it’s a one yard loss to a surging team on the road, the sky is not falling.

GregKennesaw

November 13th, 2012
12:02 pm

DLed who have the Falcons replaced Edwards with on the roster?