Dan Quinn says Falcons’ ability to score in red zone ‘has to change’
Thursday night provided the Atlanta Falcons with a nasty case of déjà vu. After a failure to cash in late in the red zone ended the Falcons’ season against the Philadelphia Eagles in last year’s playoffs, Matt Ryan and Co. came up short yet again in Thursday night’s 18-12 season-opening loss in Philly.
Atlanta had a chance to win late and ran seven plays in the red zone in the final minute, but couldn’t get it done. The Eagles even gave the Falcons an extra chance thanks to an illegal contact penalty, but Julio Jones hauled in a Ryan pass out of bounds on the last play of the game.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was frustrated with these familiar struggles, according to Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk, and he outlined the need for improvement:
“Our ability to score down there, that has to change,” Quinn said. “We weren’t able to do that tonight. Give credit to them. We knew coming in this was going to be a good matchup defensively, offensively and all in different areas but that part of our game clearly tonight we didn’t execute at the level we’d like and we’ve got work to do.”
Atlanta had five trips to the red zone that resulted in only nine points. Ryan was off all night, but he was especially poor in the red zone:
Matt Ryan Red Zone Passing Thursday
0-3, Int targeting Julio Jones
Matt Ryan is 1-20 targeting Jones in the end zone the last 2 seasons including playoffs. pic.twitter.com/yOsqHvsi0D
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 7, 2018
Ryan completed only 21 of his 43 pass attempts for 251 yards, with 169 of those yards going to Jones. But while Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the league, he has had strangely low touchdown totals due to issues in the red zone.
Quinn said the Falcons have put in a lot of work to try to fix their woes in the red zone, but clearly there’s much more work to be done. The coach admitted that it’s “part of our game we have to get right if we’re going to be really good.”