Through two weeks, the Falcons have not looked like a contender.
While they were able to cut their deficit against the Buccaneers to three points in the second half of their Week Two loss, a pair of fourth-quarter pick-sixes off quarterback Matt Ryan put the game out of reach.
But Ryan isn’t letting the early-season results get him down, telling Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports that the Falcons have plenty of time to get things on the right track.
“Seventeen games,” Ryan said, via Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports. “You can throw all the old stats out. With that extra game, none of those rules apply that were there before. We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got 15 games to go. I think we’re a young team that made strides from Week 1 to Week 2. We need to continue to make strides as we go into Week 3. If we can do that, I really feel like we’ve got enough weapons and the right people that we can correct this thing and get it moving in the right direction.”
The Falcons are trying to thread the needle of retooling with a new General Manager and head coach while also contending. That’s tough to do, but Ryan said Atlanta is capable of “being in the mix” late in the year.
“Keeping ourselves relevant late into the season, in December and January. I think we’re capable of doing that,” Ryan said. “It’s just about getting hot at the right time.”
But even with the extra game, the Falcons have to start getting on the right track sooner than later in a competitive division like the NFC South. They’ll get a chance to do so on Sunday against the 0-2 Giants.