Falcons figure out way to avoid red zone problem


The Patriots entered the game as the league’s worst red zone offense.

But they weren’t the ones having problems early on.

The Falcons overcame some early red zone issues, but Matt Ryan just found tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 21-yard touchdown pass to avoid the messy inside-the-20 stuff and tie the Patriots 10-10 just before halftime.

The Falcons had to settle for a short field goal early, then failed to convert a fourth-and-2 at the 7-yard line on earlier possessions.

With a smart quarterback in Ryan and a dependable pass-catching tight end in Gonzalez, it ought to be a strength for the Falcons. But Ryan missing an open Roddy White was simply bizarre, and the lack of a trustworthy running back (in the injury absence of Steven Jackson) is a factor as well.

So maybe just scoring from the 21 is the answer.