Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 19 his team's season may be slowly slipping away. The Falcons have lost four in a row to drop to 2-5 entering Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan feels his team's season may already be a lost cause.
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This was what Ryan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter in the aftermath of the Falcons' 29-7 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7. It was Atlanta's fourth straight loss which dropped it to 2-5 overall:
"Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan feels the season is slipping away.
"'Right now we are are behind the eight ball, and all kinds of things can happen,' Ryan said after the 29-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. 'We have the right people in the locker room, the right leaders and the right coaches to turn this around.'
"Several of Ryan's family members made the short drive over from Philadelphia to see the game.
"They had to be outraged with the pummeling that Ryan took behind his revamped offensive line. The tackles didn't hold up against Baltimore edge rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil and the interior of the line had trouble passing off players when the Ravens ran stunts.
"'That's why they are a really good defense,' Ryan said. 'They put a lot of pressure on us. They do a great job playing well within their schemes.'
"For the Falcons, who have dropped four games in a row since pummeling (the) Tampa Bay (Buccaneers) 56-14 on Sept. 18, they now have a narrow focus.
"Ryan went through his first losing season in 2013, when the Falcons finished 4-12. They were hoping to turn things around in 2014, but a rash of injuries along the offensive line and a young and inexperienced defense is sabotaging their early-season efforts.
"'We need to worry about this coming week,' Ryan said. 'We need to prepare better, practice better and play better. We know what to do, but we haven't done it.'
"The Falcons seem to think they can simply get back on the winning track.
"'Everybody knows we need to play better across the board,' Ryan said. 'Everybody on the offense, the linemen, the tight ends, wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks need to get better together.'"
Week 7 QB Leaders (yards): 1 Andrew Luck 2331 2 Matt Ryan 2078 3 Philip Rivers 1961 4 Drew Brees 1916 5 Matthew Stafford 1891— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 21, 2014
For his part, ESPN Atlanta Falcons writer Vaughn McClure feels Ryan and the Falcons must do something about the quarterback pressure the Detroit Lions are expected to resort to during the two teams' Week 8 matchup in London on Oct. 26:
"As the Falcons prepare to fact the league's top-ranked defense in the Detroit Lions Sunday in London, they know pressure will come at Matt Ryan from every direction.
"Ryan was pressured on a season-high 32 percent of his dropbacks in this past Sunday's 29-7 loss to Baltimore, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It's no coincidence he was sacked a season-high five times. The pressure on his dropbacks has steadily climbed over the past five weeks (19 percent in Week 3, 23 percent in Week 4, 24 percent in Week 5, 29 percent in Week 6).
"Surely the Lions picked up on the Falcons' inability to adjust to the variety of pressures the Ravens threw at them and how effective the Ravens were with stunts. The Lions ran some effective twists against Drew Brees and the Saints last week and also got after Brees with the blitz. And they got after Brees in the fourth quarter, putting him under duress on six of his 15 fourth-quarter dropbacks. Brees was 0-for-6 with an interception on those dropbacks.
"Now against the Falcons, Ndamukong Suh and the Lions' front front is sure to smell blood with a rookie set to start at center for the Falcons in James Stone. Suh and Nick Fairley will bring intense interior pressure, while team sack leader George Johnson and fast-rising Ezekiel Ansah -- the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week in Week 6 -- could give Falcons tackles Jake Matthews and Gabe Carimi fits on the edges."
The 29-year-old Ryan has thrown for 25,550 yards, 166 touchdowns and 84 interceptions on a 90.7 passer rating in 101 career regular-season games with the Falcons through Oct. 21, per ESPN stats.
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