The inability to score in the red zone brought an end to the 2017 season for the Atlanta Falcons last January in Philadelphia. Their inability to score in the red zone Thursday night against the Eagles helped get their 2018 campaign off to an 0-1 start.
The Falcons had five red-zone trips Thursday night. They scored a touchdown, kicked a field goal, threw an interception, turned it over on downs and ran out of time as Atlanta lost their opener 18-12 to the Eagles.
Head coach Dan Quinn said after the game that they have to be better when they near the goal line.
“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 ran 17 plays in the red zone, including two penalties on the Eagles. Nine of the Falcons’ red-zone snaps came inside the 10-yard line, including the final play. Quarterback Matt Ryan went 1-for-9 with an interception in the red zone, according to ESPN Stats & Info. They had seven snaps inside the 20-yard line on the final possession needing a touchdown to at least tie the game at 18-all. Only a 10-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu and an illegal contact penalty on Jordan Hicks netted positive yardage for the Falcons over that span.
“We’re going to go back and look, for sure, and you know we put a good bit of work in there and we still have more to do,” Quinn said. “By no means is this game going to determine… (2017) is over. This is (2018) and that’s part of our game that we have to get right if we’re going to be really good”
They weren’t good Thursday night and it’s why a winnable game didn’t go their way.