What Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after 14-9 loss to Vikings 

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 14-9 loss to the Vikings on Sunday: 

Opening Statement:
“I told the team inside, certainly a difficult loss for us, but one that was as a team. Over the last few weeks, we improved in that way all three phases, so today went right back to that. We knew it was going to be an all-day fight with Minnesota. We expected that coming in, and as the game turned out some missed chances on third down on both sides of the ball were really the factor in this game. Offensively, not being able to convert on some of the third downs and defensively then extended some drives, I thought was the real story of this game. Both teams did a good job taking care of the ball. No turnovers to say. I told the team we’ve got a quick turnaround. Got a division game right back here Thursday night, and one we know how much the preparation, the importance of that going into it, so we’re ready to go. I’ll be glad to open up with your questions.”

On the offense’s play in third-down situations:
“We certainly hit our spot. That’s what I just said earlier. I thought third down was a real factor in this game on both sides. Our inability to convert some, and we’ll go back through the film tonight and see. It looked like we had some opportunities, and I’ll find out if there were some drops or what took place for that to happen. I thought early on we’d be able to move it and effectively do something on third down. That’s why we went for it early on fourth. That’s been a strength of ours over the last few weeks and it certainly was not today.”

On whether he considered going for it on fourth down on the final drive:
“I certainly did. Our inability on third down at that point, I thought we really would get a good kick by Matt [Bryant], get a stop, and go down and win it. That’s the way I chose to do it. I thought we had five minutes, plenty of timeouts to win the game that way. That was the strategy we chose, and it didn’t work out.”

On whether Minnesota did anything defensively that surprised him:
“Certainly didn’t feel that way coming in, so that’s why we want to go back and look at that to find exactly why we weren’t effective on our third down tonight. On the other side of it, their offense against our defense, we didn’t feel like there was anything that was too abnormal or too unusual for them to hit over 50 percent. A couple of them were in the short-yardage variety, and we’ll certainly go back to look at those.”

On the adjustments with injuries in the secondary:
“I was extremely proud of Blidi Wreh-Wilson. We count on him to step up and play like he was capable, and I think that showed today. We also moved Ricardo [Allen] and played him quite a bit at nickel, and he was certainly up for that challenge as well. In there end on the back end, I thought Doug [Mallory] and Marquand [Manuel] did a good job getting the guys prepared from a secondary standpoint against an excellent group of receivers.”

On Andy Levitre’s status:
“I don’t have any updates other than he was able to be available for the game. We didn’t play him after the injury, but he was on the sideline and was not ruled out. I’ll keep you up to date as the week progresses.”

On whether he was surprised by the offensive struggles:
“I was because I really thought we had a good week of preparation in terms of the game plan and how to execute it, and I thought that part of the week went according to plan. For us to have that disappointing of a night on third down, I’m anxious to watch that tonight and find out because we had hit our stride in a number of spots, especially on third down. For us tonight to take a step back, we’ve got to make that up moving forward.”

On the penalties in the first half:
“Yeah, for sure it seemed like that early. It didn’t seem like that many in the second half. I thought we had self-inflicted wounds at times on the penalty side of things, whether holds or a block in the back. Ones we’ll go to look at, but at the end of the day, the missed opportunities on both sides on third down I thought was a real factor in this game. I thought both teams did a good job going after the ball, taking care of it, but I thought that was where the game was won, or lost in our case.”

On what the offense discussed between possessions:
“As we went through, just the opportunities they wanted to get and thought they would have some looks. At times, they thought maybe there had been some opportunities that would have been there. Maybe there was, we thought, could there have been a foul that could have occurred? We certainly won’t put it on anybody else’s hands.”

On Devonta Freeman’s return:
“Number one, you feel his energy right from the get-go. It’s the competitor of who he is and what he stands for. We felt some of the good runs by him right away, and we feel different with him because of the energy he can provide. For him, getting big runs, converting, those are big for us.”

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