Falcons Focused on Red Zone Improvement

Falcons Focused on Red Zone Improvement

Jay Adams

Published August 25, 2013 at 12:14 AM

In the realm of preseason, the third preseason game is typically the most important. The starters play the most of any game in the four exhibition games and teams tend to dip into game planning a bit.

The 27-16 loss to the Titans on Saturday night showed that there’s still work left to do for the Falcons as they draw to the two-week mark before the regular season gets underway.

Assessments were mixed in the locker room after the loss, with positives to build from and some negatives to focus on.

“We did some things real well,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “First couple of drives, we moved the ball up and down the field really well, but a couple things stick out to me: Production in the red zone — we’ve got to be better, and that’s something that we’ve got to improve on and work hard on in the next two weeks so that we hit the ground running when we hit the regular season.”

The Falcons made three trips into the red zone Saturday night and came away with field goals instead of touchdowns. It was the little things that put the Falcons in a tough spot against Tennessee when it came time to score. A dropped pass here or a missed block there ended drives on several occasions.

Third down was also a challenge against Tennessee as the Falcons converted just 4-of-12 on the night.

But there were plenty of things to be happy about, including how well the first-team offense moved when it was clicking. Julio Jones was responsible for 81 receiving yards while Ryan proved efficient when he was given time, going 11-for-19 with 138 passing yards. Steven Jackson had 12 carries for 51 yards and added three catches for 15.

“We’ve definitely gotta work on our red zone offense a little bit more,” Jackson said. “We’re putting together drives and we’ve got to learn as a unit to finish them.”

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