“We just have to turn it up a notch, we have to make something happen,” Gurley said in his postgame interview. “Something has to give. Don’t know who on the team has to step up tremendously but a lot of people are definitely going to have to do that.”
For the first time since 1999, the Falcons are 0-4 after following a Super Bowl season by going 5-11.
Falcons Can Turn Things Around. . . If They Want
If Atlanta really wants to, they can turn things around. As Gurley said, they’re entering their own division now and it could look a little bit different.
It all starts this week. Atlanta hosts the Carolina Panthers (2-2) at Mercedes-Benz who is still finding a way to win without Christian McCaffrey.
Though, Gurley made it clear that it will take a team effort and a full four quarters of grinding to win.
“Everybody just needs to take accountability,” Gurley said. “Look themselves in the mirror, look themselves on tape, and just find out what we need to do.”
Quarterback Matt Ryan said in his presser that he didn’t think the offensive unit was able to get into an early rhythm and is certainly showed. Atlanta’s offense was held to three points in the first half Monday night and Ryan threw for 289 yards but the Packers pass defense kept him from the end zone.
Both of the Falcons’ touchdowns were from Gurley who finished the game having 57 yards on 16 carries.
On the defensive side, Atlanta gave up 315 passing yards to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and 88 yards on the ground. Rodgers had himself a near-perfect night completing 27 of 33 passes and four touchdown passes, three of which went to tight end Robert Tonyan. Running back Aaron Jones only rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries.
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Ryan’s Receiving Corps Was Banged Up
The big question heading into the Packers’ game was whether or not Ryan would have Julio Jones, who is fighting a hamstring injury, or Calvin Ridley (ankle) to target. Well, he did but it wasn’t exciting.
Jones was ruled out by halftime dealing with his hamstring issues and Ridley had zero catches after going three consecutive weeks posting over 100 receiving yards.
Backup receiver Olamide Zaccheaus ended up leading the Falcons in the passing attack with eight catches for 86 yards.
Gurley, who isn’t used to starting a season like this, said Atlanta needs to win, but also take it one day at time.
“Nobody is going out there to lose on f*****g purpose,” Gurley said. “Whatever we’re doing isn’t enough. We just have to do more, just strain a little bit more. When I [say] turn it up a notch, let’s just start off with getting one win and taking it week by week.”
Dan Quinn Has Hottest Seat
After two consecutive years of a 7-9 record and a Super Bowl blowout, the Atlanta Falcons are once again off to an absolutely terrible start. As if Dan Quinn’s seat wasn’t already hot, well it got a lot hotter on Monday night.
Quinn said in the offseason that the Falcons defense is going to be a brand new look, well its four games in and nothing looks new.
The Falcons take on their rival the Panthers this week who has a revamped young defense that found a way to stop Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday.
Houston’ coach Bill O’Brien was fired on Monday after their 0-4 start, so it just goes to show that it’s possible.
It’ll be interesting to see how long Quinn sticks around in Atlanta.