2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons to focus on themselves after 1-3 start

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-09-30 18:47

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Roddy White and Osi Umenyiora say that the Atlanta Falcons can fix their mistakes.

Coach Mike Smith says the team has no other choice after stumbling to a 1-3 start.

In losing consecutive regular season games for the first time in six years under Smith, the Falcons have a myriad of problems to correct.

Several starters are injured. Atlanta's red zone offense and defensive sacks per pass attempt both rank 28th in the NFL. The Falcons' defense ranks second-worst in third-down efficiency.

Quarterback Matt Ryan seems to be getting hit consistently in the pocket, and his throws are too often hurried.

``We had some protection issues, we had some routes that weren't run right, we had some drops, we had some missed throws,'' Smith said on Monday. ``I can assure you we are addressing it as a coaching staff with our team.''

White and Umenyiora say they're looking forward to practice Tuesday when Smith will have the starting offense and starting defense work against each other.

Atlanta gets an extra day of work this week with the New York Jets (2-2) visiting the Georgia Dome next Monday night.

White, along with defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, is the longest-tenured Falcon at nine years and doesn't like to think too much about the last time Atlanta was 1-3.

That was the infamous 2007 season under first-year coach Bobby Petrino, who quit after losing 10 of 13 games. It was also the year that quarterback Michael Vick was sent to federal prison on dogfighting charges.

White never imagined that the current team would lose three of its first four after beginning the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but he believes players can draw from the bitter experience of Petrino's tenure and avoid a similar lapse in morale.

``You just don't panic,'' White said on Monday. ``You are what you earn in this league, so we're 1-3. You just go out there and correct the problems that you have and get ready for the next game. We know at 1-3 that we can't get back to .500 after one game.''

The biggest problem facing Ryan, White, fellow starting wideout Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez is in the red zone.

With running back Steven Jackson sidelined by a hamstring injury, the Falcons seem like a one-dimensional passing attack deep in opponent territory.

In Sunday's 30-23 loss to New England, they scored just one touchdown in six trips to the Patriots' 20-yard line.

White was particularly frustrated by two critical incompletions. On a fourth-and-two at New England 7, Ryan was flushed to his left and threw on the run to White near the left goal line marker, but the ball sailed too far outside.

On the last offensive play from scrimmage, Ryan's pass in the end zone was too slightly too far for White to reach, and cornerback Aqib Talib batted the ball away.

``It's killing us right now,'' White said. ``It's something that we continue to work at, but we've got to do a little more and win some one-on-one battles, especially when it's time for one person to make the play when it's presented.''

Umenyiora, an 11-year veteran in his first season with Atlanta, was part of a pass rush that only hit quarterback Tom Brady twice all night, and the Patriots' star was 6 of 8 passing for 137 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The worst sequence came on the first two plays of the final period. Facing third-and-19 from the New England 12, Brady connected with Kenbrell Thompkins for a 26-yard pass, and the Patriots advanced another 15 yards when safety William Moore was penalized for a hit to the head on the same play.

On the next snap, LeGarrette Blount broke off a 47-yard run that pushed New England's lead to 20-10.

``They had a very good scheme,'' Umenyiora said. ``Play-action throws. Quick passes. It was pretty good.''

Umenyiora was irritated that the defense allowed seven of 13 third-down attempts to be converted, but he believes the team will benefit from a return to fundamental work this week.

``We've got to correct them,'' he said. ``We don't really have too much of an option.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow George Henry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group