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Week 16 Postgame Quotes: Atlanta Falcons

Postgame reactions from the Atlanta Falcons after losing to the New Orleans Saints.

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New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn

Opening comments:
"We thought that we had our opportunities in this game in all three phases. When we look back on it, those will be the ones that will be the determination in this game. Not scoring down in the red zone…Those are the ones with the missed opportunities that come back to get you. They're a good team (the Saints). It's always difficult (to lose). Both defenses played good on third down. I thought that that was going to be a factor in the game; and, it was. What's next for us? We have got to assess and get ready. We get to go back home and play at home. All of that's in front of us. That is what we intend on doing."

On penalties that caused the team to play a 1st down and 40 yards situation:
"We have to go back and look at it. Certainly, any time that you have three of them that make you go all of the way back, we will see what they were. It was a topic (penalties) that we talked about quite a bit this week, in terms of us doing that part better. To have that many for us, I have to go back and look at pre-snap how many were in the game. The false starts are easy to see."

On still being in contention for a playoff berth:
"As a competitor, that's the life we live. We know what is there. That's why we are still excited. It's a disappointed locker room, obviously, because, I assume that now we do not have a chance to win the division. That is really where our mindset has been for a long time. You have to assess it and say, 'Can we play our very best this week to go where we want to go and to get in and advance.' That is really where the mindset of the team is at. We will go back and look at our missed opportunities, for sure. Then, it is right back to work, in terms of our preparation and everything that we can do to play well against Carolina."

On if he is surprised that the offense didn't play better today:
"I certainly was surprised that we did not have more points today. To have two of those (drives) where we were down inside the two or three yard line and not come away with points in that one was the factor, for sure. A lot of things were a factor. Number one, we can own the ball better to win drives. They called the interception on one today. And, then (we had) the fumble (on another). When you turn the ball over, that series ended. There is no chance to make any points out of it. That part we can do better moving forward. I thought that it was a really good play be Deion (Jones) of creating coming out of the half. We talked about let's go out and see if we can knock one (a turnover) out and see if we can make one go. Confidencewise of the team, we know that we have a good group. We know how tough they are and the resiliency that they have. Today, when we look back, this will be one when we had some opportunities to take advantage of. When you didn't, that was the story of this game."

On what was different for Devonta Freeman's performance today compared to the first game against the Saints:
"Let's give them (the Saints) credit. We didn't get the normal amount of runs that we normally get. That's been a big part of our game with the play action. When those third downs get stopped, we don't get our drives extended. I thought that was a factor in the game. I think that it was, maybe, three drives, extended drives going into the half. Extended drives are very important to us. Extending third downs and converting are very important. Now, it gives all of the players more opportunities (when it happens). I thought that was a real factor."

On the penalties and turnovers in the red zone:
"Totally uncalled for us to have those. We need to recognize that there are going to be some aggressive fouls when you are playing a thousand miles an hour. Those are part of the game. The ones that we can control, we know, are the pre-snap ones. That's really having our discipline and being on it. We will go back and look at which ones are which. To play clean and to play our best, that can be a factor."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

On if numerous penalties were due to a lack of poise:
"I don't know if it's lack of poise or whatever, but whatever the reason for the penalties we got to figure that out because when you come into an environment like this and you're playing a very good opponent, its critical to stay in front of the chains. You can't make mistakes. We made too many of them today. We thought we did some good things in terms of moving the ball. We're consistent enough in terms of keeping it going, so that's something that we have to correct. We've got to be better than that moving forward."

On not being able to convert a touchdown after interception early in second half:
"Yeah, that is tough. (The) Defense comes out with a great interception, Deion (Jones) runs it down, (and) we get the ball first and goal. You want to come away with a touchdown in that situation. That's it. That's one of those missed opportunities that we talked about."

On not converting fourth and goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter today:
"We had two chances from having the ball at the one-yard line and to come away with zero points is kind of the tale of the day. I also thought we had an opportunity to get points before the half and to turn the football over there and then lead to a touchdown. We put our defense in a tough spot. You cannot do that in these type of games. We missed too many opportunities."

Linebacker Deion Jones

On strong 3rd down defense today:
"Guys just getting lined up and fighting and keep going and fighting around trying to get the ball on the ground – trying to make big plays."

On mindset for win-and-in situation next week:
"We work with AMG during the offseason. We always talk about '1, 2, 3, reset.' Put this game behind us, get the log back up, and let's keep moving. It's not out of the picture yet. We just got to keep grinding – stick to our process and let's get it."

On picking teammates Devonta Freeman up after two fumbles:
"We got his back a 'hundo percent.' We give it up, we just have to give it back to them (the offense). I believe - everybody else don't - but I believe that any time that our offense has the ball, they (are) going to do great things with it once they get in rhythm. It's just a matter of keep giving it to them and we got to keep them (the opponent) out of the end zone."  

Defensive end Vic Beasley

On keys of the game:
"For the most part, I think we did well against the run game. We got the ball back to our offense. The offense wasn't able to get it into the end zone like they wanted to. (We) Just got to go back to the drawing board and try to correct those things. 

On if loss is motivation for coming back here for a potential playoff matchup:
"It's motivation just to be in the playoffs. We understand that win these last two games and if we won this game would have been the playoffs. So, we understand that we have another opportunity next week, so we are just taking it one game at a time." 

Running back Devonta Freeman
On his thoughts of getting ready for win-and-get-in situation next week vs. Carolina:
"Situation like this, you just got to man up – you have to look yourself in the mirror like 'I know I fumbled. I should not have fumbled.' I know that. I know I can get better. I can do better with holding the ball. It just makes me stronger. I get to work on something. I get to get better at something. Shoot for something. Get better."

On numerous penalties by offense:
"Just football, man. Anything can happen. From penalties to play calling, the turnovers, the fumble with me, wins, losses, injuries, all that stuff happens. We can't look at none of that and say, 'this was the reason.' We just got to win at the end of the day. We can't look at the penalties. We (are) in their environment, so we know it's going to be a tough matchup." 

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