What Dan Quinn had to say after playoff loss to Eagles


Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 15-10 loss to the Eagles on Saturday in the NFC Divisional playoff game: 

Opening remarks: “Coming into this game we knew this was going to be a battle. It was probably likely going to go down to the end. We knew it was going to be a tough game. The missed chances and the almost, those are the ones, that don’t work. I thought defensively we had some missed opportunities and certainly offensively as well to extend some drives on both sides. We thought the ball was going to be a factor, so for us to have a turnover margin in the plus and come out on the other side of it – that doesn’t happen very often. Man, do I love what our team stands for as a group. At the end certainly had a chance to go for it. [We] put in a couple of plays – what we thought were the best ones with the best opportunities. And it didn’t go our way, so that’s the hardest part for us. It’s for our fans who are even here today. Man, do we appreciate all of you as well in terms of riding with us with and every opportunity, so we certainly appreciate that. I’ll be glad to open it up to your questions regarding the game as we’re getting started tonight.”

On what didn’t work on the Falcons last play of the game: “You know, I didn’t see – from my vantage point I couldn’t tell if there was a slip that took place. I know when you run a sprint out, you’re usually trying to get a player right into the flat, so I couldn’t tell. I knew when [Falcons QB] Matt [Ryan] came back and retreated that something took place. So I’ll get a chance to look at it on the film. You guys may have had a better shot at it than me. It’s one that we thought in that opportunity, in that moment, was going to be the two ones we went to who would have been ones that we would have dialed up. “ 

On what wasn’t working on third down: “Both sides really. I thought that as this one went down that extended some drives and some long ones defensively. And then offensively just not being able to convert to extend some drives. We’ll go back and [review] that tonight to find out why. It wasn’t just one thing or one match up that didn’t go our way.” 

On how much this loss hurt the team: “Well I can tell you, just regardless of change or team, just it hurts. We weren’t prepared have this not go our way. The preparation, the mindset of what this group stands for was really on point. And when you don’t win on those opportunities, you don’t give yourself the very best chance to go after and I thought that was the case tonight.”

On not running the ball at the end of the game when the team was on the nine-yard line: “We talked about it and in fact when the one before it got overturned, that was another play that we had. ... We had one called and then it went back and we went to a different play. But we had talked about the runs on that spot. We wanted to make sure we were going to put it in the guys’ hands who could go make a play to go do it and that’s what we did. But before the overturn we had another run called.” 

On being out gained by the Eagles on offense and what happened to the Falcons offense: “Well certainly today I thought that for us to finish 4 of 13 for a good third-down team, that’s a disappointing way. You’re not going to get a lot of drives to get extended to get points at those moments when we’re kicking or punting in those situations. The team this year did a good job on third down. But we certainly didn’t do enough to score and that’s the name of the game and so from a scoring standpoint, those were the things that jammed us up. Third down and the explosive part of it, that part was there. We didn’t do a good enough job scoring tonight and in some other games as well.” 

On being a former defensive coordinator and not seeing the play on fourth down: “Often times you get man-to-man in those scenarios. So as a former defensive coordinator, I recognize that is a play people do employ. We were looking for that opportunity on that match up for that specific play. That’s what we thought was going to be the best play called for that time. There was no stress from a time standpoint, we had our timeouts, so that’s what we thought was the best play to go win the game. We didn’t execute it and they did, and that’s the way the story is on that play.”

On red zone issues this game and this season: “We certainly go back and that’s one of the areas we are dialed in from the beginning of the season as well, to where how do we make sure those moments aren’t field goals and end up being scored into touchdowns. We love [kicker] Matt Bryant and what he stands for as a kicker, but for sure having the moments to go, and were going to assess the whole thing and look at it. Were there plays that knocked us out? Could we have done better in the run game down there? Those are certainly topics we are going to look long and deep into to improve that part of our game.”
On Eagles RB Jay Ajayi’s success today and whether he thought the Eagles executed in the run game: “I thought they did early on. I don’t know what the number split would have been from the two halves. We really made an emphasis to make sure let’s get our tackling right. There weren’t too many schemes that were so different or so unique, that the guys hadn’t prepared for, maybe one or two, but past that we wanted to make sure let’s get down and get low on these guys’ legs. I thought they had some yards after contact that extended some plays, but I thought that seemed more firm and short up as the second half went along.”

On the run game between both games: “I thought the same thing. I thought both teams like to run it. Both teams had been effective against the run; both teams have pass rushers, so I thought that was going to be a factor in the game.”

On offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s play-calling: I recognize that goes with the job and so does Sark. Like all things, we asses it all the way through. How can we do things better? There are a lot of things that Sark has brought to our team that we really like. In terms of, I can take a long time to go through different spots, so it’s easy to place blame all onto one person and that’s a shared responsibility when we don’t achieve at the level that we would like to. There are a lot of really good things that we’ve done and it was highlighted certainly tonight where we didn’t get the job done at the end of the game. So I recognize the question, and like all parts of the organization, we assess and see how we can do things better, and there’s certain parts offensively that we’ll want to do better, and defensively as well, so all phases we’ll really assess and look into.”

On Falcons QB Matt Ryan handling adversity: “He’s one of the toughest competitors I’ve been around. The reason I say that is I see him every day. I know how much he puts in, the preparation, the mindset to go forth; he’s got to be one of the most resilient players I’ve been around. His ability and his toughness, it has exemplified all that he does. Tough game for us tonight and as we go through and go back, we’ll assess everything that we’ve done. His toughness, his leadership, is one that we’re all really proud of. At the end of the game, we were giving our shots to Matt and [Falcons WR] Julio [Jones] to win the game and we didn’t get the job done, but 100 out of 100 we’re going to try to put the ball in those guys hands to let them go win.”


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