ATLANTA (AP) — There are many the explanation why the Atlanta Falcons have endured three consecutive shedding seasons, however quarterback Matt Ryan has typically been one of many constant vibrant spots.
That was hardly the case in a 20-17 loss in Los Angeles on Sunday when Ryan threw three interceptions, the final two costing the Falcons an opportunity to take a late lead. Each passes have been to his proper facet, brief makes an attempt to Hayden Hurst and Calvin Ridley that gave the Chargers a straightforward path to the ball in Los Angeles territory.
At 35, Ryan insists he’s nonetheless the identical participant who was the NFL MVP in 2016. However he has eight picks in his previous six video games, and an intentional grounding penalty value the Falcons an opportunity to attain early within the fourth quarter.
“No, I’ve lots left within the tank,” he stated. “I simply need to play higher. Sadly, stuff like this occurs generally in skilled sports activities and also you’ve simply obtained to grind by it and discover a solution to be higher. I’m dedicated to that and definitely imagine I’ll play higher subsequent week.”
There was no trigger to pin Ryan’s efficiency on poor safety. Regardless of lacking two starters — left guard James Carpenter and proper sort out Kaleb McGary — on the road, Ryan was sacked twice and hit six instances. These are numbers he may reside with as Justin McCray and Matt Gono stuffed in for Carpenter and McGary.
“My physique feels nice,” he stated. “I really feel like I’m recent and in a great spot. I simply haven’t performed in addition to I might’ve preferred and that stuff occurs. I’m an enormous believer in course of, so that you study from these video games the place you don’t play your greatest. You attempt to not make the identical errors once more and transfer ahead and imagine whenever you’re in these positions once more you’re going to create totally different consequence.”
Ryan’s first choose got here on a third-quarter try to squeeze a ball towards double protection into Ridley ultimately zone. The Chargers answered by marching 80 yards in 13 performs to tie it at 17.
Ryan, who moved previous Peyton Manning for probably the most profession yards passing by 13 seasons, stated that mistake was one he may reside with. However the third interception, thrown to Ridley on the surface, was unwell suggested.
“That’s on me,” Ryan stated. “I’ve obtained to make a greater throw and put it excessive and away on the sideline and provides Cal an opportunity. Only a poor throw.”
Ridley surpassed 1,000 yards receiving for the primary time in his three-year profession. With Julio Jones sidelined once more by a hamstring harm, Ridley stepped up once more to present Ryan a dependable goal.
“I like that I did it as a result of I do know I can do this,” Ridley stated. “I do know I can do method higher than that. I be ok with it. I don’t really feel good that we misplaced and I don’t really feel too good in regards to the season.”
Ridley completed with eight catches for 124 yards and was focused 12 instances, together with a 39-yard TD catch on Russell Gage’s throw from the wildcat formation.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
In an identical state of affairs to people who doomed the Falcons in losses to Dallas, Chicago and Detroit, the protection allowed a protracted completion to arrange the successful discipline aim. Security Keanu Neal was defending on the 25-yard go from Justin Herbert to Tyron Johnson.
“We obtained beat man to man,” interim coach Raheem Morris stated. “We have been in a two-man, two-high protection. We performed beneath protection and the man made a pleasant outdoors breaking route. We obtained beat on a protracted play. We will’t let these issues occur, both. We will’t lose these battles and win a soccer sport on the highway.”
Rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell was overwhelmed on a crossing route ultimately zone for the Chargers’ first landing, however in any other case performed nicely. Terrell routinely attracts the No. 1 receiver in man protection and is getting higher every week. Terrell had 13 unassisted tackles to steer the protection and added a go breakup and a pressured fumble.
Todd Gurley is a shadow of his former self and appears to be within the final 12 months of his profession. In his final seven video games, Gurley has averaged 2.7 yards per carry. He ran the ball simply six instances with a long term of 8 yards. Morris stated Monday that Gurley continues to be the No. 1 operating again forward of Ito Smith, who ran 11 instances for 42 yards.
Morris stated Jones’ season just isn’t doubtful and didn’t rule out the seven-time Professional Bowl receiver returning this week. … Defensive sort out Marlon Davidson injured his knee within the third quarter and didn’t return.
97 — The overall tackles for linebacker Foye Oluokun, who has emerged as a reliable drive alongside linebacker and defensive captain Deion Jones.
Morris gave the crew Monday off after the lengthy highway journey. The Falcons will reconvene Wednesday and begin prepping to face Tampa Bay at house Sunday.
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