A quiet Falcons locker room looked for answers after a 27-23 loss against Miami that moved the team to 1-2 after three weeks.
There were plenty of bright spots. Matt Ryan stayed clean against one of the league’s best pass rushes. The run game was working well and often. Even young players that were asked to step up and make plays in the stead of injured veterans looked solid.
Still, it was all overshadowed by one thing: missing the opportunities to put things away.
The Falcons, as was the case against New Orleans in a Week 1 loss, had the chances to seal up a win against Miami but they couldn’t come through — not after leads of 7-0, 10-0, 10-7, 13-7, 13-10, 20-10 and 23-20 were wiped away by a Dolphins team that stood tough when their backs were against the wall.
“For the offense, we’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone. That’ll help a lot,” running back Jacquizz Rodgers said. “Instead of having three, getting seven will be a different game.”
It was the theme of Sunday’s loss. The Falcons visited the red zone five times and came away with two field goals — six points of a possible 35 — in those situations.
At other times, it was sustaining or starting offensive drives that got the Falcons in trouble. Clinging to a three-point lead with just more than four minutes left, the Falcons’ offense stalled at the Dolphins’ 17-yard line. A rare Matt Bryant missed field goal resulted in Miami’s ball, and four minutes later, a Miami win.
The Falcons return home with a chance to take a step forward with a slew of home games as the team won’t hit the road against until an Oct. 27 game at Arizona. There’s some solace in the fact that it’s still early, but there’s a tremendous sense of urgency among the team.
“It’s only three games into the season, so we’ve got 13 more opportunities, but we’ve got a long way to go,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “It is a marathon. We’ve just got to find a way to win games and win them consecutively.”