A variety of mistakes caused the Atlanta Falcons' 24-15 downfall Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sure-handed star receiver Julio Jones had a crucial drop late in the game -- just his second drop of the season. Reliable kicker Matt Bryant missed an extra point. Rookie nickelback Brian Poole was flagged for a pass interference penalty that eventually set up the Eagles' go-ahead score. And rookie tight end Joshua Perkins was whistled for offensive pass interference with the Falcons trying to mount a come-from-behind drive.
Not to mention the Falcons surrendered big plays on special teams.
But the real reason the Falcons faltered was the way they got pushed around on both sides of the ball. It was more evident on the defensive side as the Eagles' Ryan Mathews became the first rusher to reach the 100-yard mark against the Falcons since the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson went for 158 last November. As a team, the Eagles rushed for a 208 yards, a season-high for a Falcons opponent.
There were too many gaping holes in the Falcons' defense, particularly right up the middle. On one Matthews run, nose tackle Grady Jarrett, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and safety Kemal Ishmael all were overwhelmed by blocks.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn certainly can live with mental mistakes, particularly with a bunch of rookies and second-year players playing significant time on defense. But being manhandled is something Quinn certainly won't accept, considering the way he always preaches being tough, fast and physical.cheap jerseys
"It was definitely frustrating for us, no question about it," Quinn said. "For us to have a team run the ball on us, with the physical style that we like to play, and have the explosiveness in the run game, for sure that was a big factor in this game.''
The 6-4 Falcons still sit atop the NFC South, and the loss had slightly less impact with the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints both losing Sunday. But a Falcons team led by MVP candidate Matt Ryan won't be a legit contender without winning at the line of scrimmage.wholesale jerseys
Ryan was riding high but came back down to earth in his home area of Philly. He threw plenty of passes under duress and finished 18-of-33 for 267 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a passer rating of 78.7. Ryan and the offense managed just 2 of 11 conversions on third down against a strong Eagles front. Not to mention Ryan didn't have the balance of a run game, with Devonta Freeman managing just 49 yards on 12 rushes, including just four rushing attempts in the second half.wholesale nfl jerseys from china
The Falcons, who boasted the league's top scoring offense at 33.9 points per game, managed just one touchdown when Ryan hit Taylor Gabriel for a 76-yard touchdown.
"We had some opportunities, but we couldn't really get into a rhythm offensively and that's a product of not converting enough third downs,'' Ryan said. "We're disappointed.''
Meanwhile, Jones went over 1,000 receiving yards for the season with a 10-catch, 135-yard effort. But there's little doubt he'd give anything to have that drop back.
"It was just us,'' Jones said. "We were doing little things here and there to get us out of whack. Everybody wasn't on the same page today. We just have to continue working to get better collectively and as a group. As far as offense, sustain drives, especially in the red zone. We could have made some plays down in the red zone. I'm just saying, it's us. We took ourselves out of positions a couple of times.''cheap nfl jerseys
Right now, the Dallas Cowboys might be the team to beat in the NFC with their physical offensive line. The way the Falcons looked Sunday, they might not be able to contend with the Cowboys in terms of physicality.
At least the Falcons now have the bye week to work out the kinks in preparation for the stretch run, starting with a Nov. 27 home matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.
As Ryan exited Lincoln Financial Field after meeting up with family and friends, he said, "We'll be fine.''