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What The Atlanta Falcons Said Following Their 27-20 Loss To Seattle

Postgame quotes from the Atlanta Falcons following their Week 8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.


Opening Statement:
"From a team standpoint, we came out in the second half and fought back. [We] can't lose the turnover battle zero to three and expect to come out ahead. For us, we talked to the team. The first half of the season is complete, and we have to come out for the second half of the season much like we came out in the second half today. If we do that, we'll be the team that we would like to play like. Losing that turnover margin and digging yourself into a hole at the start, [is a] tough way to get started into a game."

On the team's slow first half start:
"Starting like that, we know the importance of getting out early and not having a wait-and-see mindset and mentality. I thought coming down [Seattle] got a field goal. We've got to go answer right away and we weren't able to do that. We missed two of the kicks in the first half and had a turnover. When you don't get a chance to answer, that's certainly a big part of starting slowly.

On the offense's play in the second half:
"For the second half, I thought [Matt] Schaub showed a lot of the grit and toughness. Bunch of guys got involved. Julio was [involved], but I thought inside the addition that we've added with [Russell] Gage and [Calvin] Ridley and the movement they used inside, they were tough to guard in the slot."

On the defensive line's second-half play:
"It's frustrating any time you see a running back have success like that, whether it's out on the edge, and usually good team defense everybody has a part in playing when it's playing well. Usually, everybody has a part when it's not. That part of the connection is always there. Inside we're very strong with Tyeler [Davison]. He was right in the middle of it again. Sometimes a play may start inside and wind out all the way to get back, which they had one of the long runs in the first half. We'll evaluate everything for sure.

On Brian Hill's future involvement:
"We certainly count on him. Hopefully, we'll have Ito [Smith] back before long, but Brian has certainly proven that he's capable of delivering, and he has a role on special teams as well. He's answered the challenge every time we have [asked him]. Not going to say [he will] be more [involved], but we certainly count on him and I know that he can deliver for sure."

On the fourth-quarter fumble:
"I thought that was a huge part of this. When you turn it over at the one, you don't have a chance to keep answering. Especially when you're in a hole; you have zero margin for any error. When that happens, from my vantage point I couldn't tell hand down or not. They are automatically reviewable, so New York took a look and said from their vantage point it would not be overturned.

On the upcoming bye week:
"For sure has to be 100 percent based on improvement. As we start the second half, that has to be a big part of it for sure. Having some players hopefully get back from a health standpoint and rehab to get back, but more than anything, playing like we're capable for all four quarters. To me, that's where the whole thing lies."

On positive notes from today's game:
"I think [the team] showed they've got a lot of resiliency and toughness to be down like that, 24-nothing at the half, and to come back and have the fight and the mindset to do that, I think that's shows a lot about who they are. I'm not surprised by it one bit, but it's disappointing to be in the space that we're in. We also recognize our division is coming up, so that's where our focus will be and our improvement.

On deciding when to go for it, versus kick on fourth down:
"I think you have to be bold and take some chances to go. Early on -- I don't know if that was -- might have been 17-nothing and we wanted to, Hey, let's get on the board. Let's get some points and get rolling. We ended up missing that, and then when you're behind you've got to make some bold decisions to go and be aggressive, those are usually why. But there is always a plan going in. Where we are at, a lot of factors come in: time in the game, how many possessions left. As you're getting into the second half, those are all things that come up on the fourth downs. Within each series, we are talking about a fourth-down opportunity and we communicate that right upstairs to Dirk [Koetter], or to Ben [Kotwica] if we are going to kick or punt or whatever it might be." 

On Isaiah Oliver's growth:
"I think we really challenged [Oliver], and in a lot of ways he really responded. He's a guy that is putting it in constantly to get there. We played a lot of man-to-man today, and we thought that was the best way to try to go to attack. Not the whole game, but [Oliver] has the ability to do that with the length. It was great to see him stay down and really stay square on his coverage."


On the loss to the Seahawks:
"I mean, we fell short. We had opportunities. The first half, [we] turned it over once; they converted into points. We moved the football, but once we crossed the 50, we settled for long field goal attempts, which we've got to find a way to continue to move the football and get in scoring position there. Then [in the] second half we moved the football up and down the field. We, unfortunately, we turned it over again, but we did some good things. Our defense played great in the second half holding them to three points and giving us a chance with the football."

On the second-half performance of the team:
"It shows that we're resilient, we're going to fight until the clock says zeros. We're going to hang together in this locker room. That's going to be number one. Right now, with the bye week, everyone has to get away, clear their mind, get fresh, healthy if need be, and come out. You never know what happens in this league. You get one and then you get a second and see where you go. You can get on a roll pretty quick and strange things have happened in this league. But guys need to get away and clear their minds a little bit."

On the second half adjustments:
"We just executed better in the second half. We did things in the first half. We moved the football. Got out of being in a backed-up situation. Got across the 50. We had a couple of penalties, and then missed some long field goals. That stuff happens. I think we just executed cleaner in the second half. Whether it's in the run game where we got things going, and then our screen game helped out getting some chunk plays, and then guys made plays in the back end. Our guys up front battled. The Seahawks are a good athletic group and they push the pocket pretty good and their edge guys are established. They did a good job up front giving me some time to find some guys downfield. My receivers were making plays for me the whole second half."

On how it felt to get the start today:
"It was great. It was great to get back out there and be in the huddle with those guys. Under the circumstances, it's never good when you're going in during that situation with Matt [Ryan], but it was good to get an opportunity to get out there and sling it around a little bit."

On Devonta Freeman's receiving performance:
"It just says he's very talented and important to our team. Whether it's run, pass, pass pro, you know, he's a weapon for us. We got down by so much we couldn't really run. We came out and ran it a little bit in the first drive of the second half, but then just had to throw the ball to move it. From that aspect, we got a little bit one-sided."

On the Seattle defense:
"They're very athletic. They're a veteran group. Their back end is a little young, they're new. The big thing is you got to get it [the ball] out of your hand. You can't hold it. There are some holes in their secondary and coverages, and it's just getting it out of your hand, getting it to your guys, your playmakers in space. Guys were able to make some plays with the football in their hands."

On the bye week:
"I think it's vital right now for our football team and for the guys, just to step away, take a deep breath, and just refocus. Some guys are nicked up, so that's what the bye week is for. Get healthy and refocus your minds on your job and the task at hand."


On what the second half tells you about your team:
"Twenty-three in the second half, which is where we fought back. I mean it just shows the type of fight and grit we have. I'm really proud of the way the guys fought, that's indicative of us being this tough, tough resilient football team. And as for me, I worked on a huge block at the beginning of the game, I mean I didn't have success, I have to be more consistent and I feel like if we just execute for four quarters, we can hang with anybody. I mean Seattle is a really good football team, they got tremendous players on both sides of the ball, we were able to do some special things in the second half. Moral of the story is we just have to put it together for four quarters."

On what was said during halftime that got the team rolling:
"That's going to be between us and the team."

On what Matt Schaub able to do so well today:
"He has been doing this for 15-16 years. He's just seen every single look enough times where he understands exactly, much like Matt Ryan, where the ball is supposed to go pre-snap and he does it within such a quick time and he analyzes the defense so fast it really takes up the pass rush. He's a constant professional. I mean he really helped me out as a younger player, so obviously you want Matt Ryan out there, but we are fully confident when he's in there as well.

On the guys rallying for Coach Quinn:
"He's had our back. We got to have his back. I mean I've been here for the highest of highs, so I know things haven't been going right for the first eight games, but I mean our resilience isn't going to waver. I mean that is the man that took us as far as you can go in the sport so it would be cowardly to just tuck your tail and rollover on the man that's brought me and a lot of these other guys here. We love him, and we tried to fight hard for him in the second half. We just got to do it for all four quarters.

On the team not being successful this year while he is on track for 1000 yards:
"I don't worry about individual accolades at all. I'm just trying to help the team win. I know that's a boring answer but, that's really what it is."


On how the team feels after this game:
"I can't really tell you what is going on right now, we played better in the second half than we did in the first half. We just have to figure out how to play that type of ball the whole game. I don't know, I can't give many answers because I haven't watched the film."

On Matt Schaub's performance:
"He was being Matt Schaub. We didn't ask him to be Matt Ryan or anyone else. We asked him to come in and do what he does. He gave us opportunities and he went out there and made plays." 

On fighting for Coach Quinn to keep his job:
"This is not our concern, as far as the players. All we can do is try to get our ball right. At the end of the day, we don't make decisions, we don't get into that talk with that kind of stuff. For us, we just have to get our ball right and be able to play our best ball on Sundays."

On the second half performance providing momentum after the bye week:
"Positivity is always good. Anything that is positive you can take from it. So, for us, guys are probably nicked up and things like that. We have to take this time to rest up and recover and come out and try to play our best ball."

On Devonta Freeman recording more receiving yards than rushing yards:
"I don't know. I don't discuss other players and their situations and whatever they have going on. I don't know what happened. It is hard to really answer questions and talk about things when you haven't watched the game behind it. Even though we have facts of what is going on, I can't tell you how he was running or what the defense was giving him."


On the performance of Matt Schaub:
"He was accountable, he does everything right, and that is what you were seeing today. He went out there and the guy [Schaub] was not missing."

On the performance of the offensive line:
"We knew coming into this game that it was going to be vital for us guys upfront to make sure we gave Matt [Schaub] as much time as possible. I think for the most part we did a solid job. Obviously, the outcome didn't turn out how we wanted – so we didn't make enough plays. For the most part, I think the offense gave him time."

On how he feels after a tough first half, but positive second half:
"You are definitely encouraged with the second half, but our biggest thing is that we have got to be consistent. We play a two-half football game, so it does us no good to play bad in the first half and play good in the second half – we have to play good in both halves. I think that will be our focus. I think we will take a week to reset and regroup. Then, we will come back and find out how to be consistent in both halves." 

On what to do heading into the bye week:
"We just have to take this time to get away from football. We have to take a deep breath and put that first half of the season behind us. There is nothing we can do about it now. We sit here with the record that we sit here at. It is not time for us to sit and pout. It is just time to get away for a little bit and enjoy your family and time off. Then, when we come back, we have to hit the ground running."


On halftime adjustments:
"We feel like the plays we gave up in the first half were due to miscommunication. The two touchdowns, both of them, we just weren't in the right spot at the right time and gave up a couple touchdowns. In the second half, we just made it simpler. We knew what we were supposed to do, communicated about it, talked about it and we were able to fix it in the second half. I mean, that's something that you just can't do. You can't give up those kinds of points in one half of football and expect to be able to come back against a good team."

On the best way to utilize time during the bye week:
"Recovery, definitely. That's probably the biggest thing that most guys are going to do. Whether that's going home or staying here, making sure your body is right to come back fresh. Whatever's hurting, whatever's nicked up, making sure you get it figured out before we come back on Monday."


On getting the pass rush going with two sacks and multiple QB hits:
"We just wanted to attack the quarterback. We even hit him [Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson] a couple times and he made some nice completions, so he's special in doing that. But it felt good to get to the quarterback."

On what the second half comeback says about the Falcons:
"That we fought. We fought, but we shouldn't have to be in a hole that deep in the first place. We never gave up and we continued to fight. That's what we're going to continue to do as the season goes on." 

On taking any positivity forward:
"Whatever kind of positivity we can draw from it, we're going to. There were definitely some good things that we did, but we've still got to improve and try to get a win. We're fighting hard."

Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 8 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

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