Marcus Mariota Explains Ways Falcons ‘Can Improve’ Moving Forward


Getty Marcus Mariota #1 of the Atlanta Falcons.

Sunday’s meeting against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked a lot more disappointing than Atlanta Falcons’ previous games.

However, with their top weapons in running back Corderrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Pitts sidelined with injuries, we knew it would.

“Stuck” with a handful of young offensive targets up against a sturdy Tampa defensive front, Marcus Mariota and the rest of the offense struggled to get anything going––well, up until the last quarter. Tampa was able to hold Atlanta to zero points until then.

The Falcons Need to Create Momentum Early

Despite being down some key players, the Falcons still had enough valuable players and opportunities on third down to get the ball going, but they didn’t make the big plays that they needed to until it was too late.

So, how does one fix this moving forward?

The Falcons converted just 3 of 7 third downs in the first half, which also needs to be resolved, however, quarterback Marcus Mariota wants his offense set up in a better position of first and second before even reaching that point.

“We got to be better on first and second down. I think through the course of the game we had 10 third and longs or something like that, but for any offense that’s tough,” Mariota said after the game Sunday, via Ashton Edmunds of “Being able to be better on first and second down, create rhythm, move the chains, that’s when this offense starts to get going. If we can do a better job on first and second down, I think we’ll find ways to improve.”

Fourth Quarter Comebacks Headlines the Atlanta Falcons

This isn’t the first time that we almost saw the Falcons almost pull off a come-from-behind victory.

The same situation happened in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams when the Falcons posted 17 points in the fourth quarter and held LA to just three points to barely lose 31-27. The same thing also happened in Week 4 against the Browns when the Falcons started off right with 10 points in the first quarter, then went scoreless for two quarters before posting two touchdowns in the fourth to beat Cleveland.

Still, the Falcons were off to a hot start against the Browns and that’s the kind of momentum that Mariota wants to create moving forward in order to put the team in a better position to come up with a victory.

“At times for us, we were just kind of getting in our own way,” Mariota said. “I think when we were able to come in halftime and make some adjustments, guys kind of flew around and made some plays and as you get going and you get in a rhythm, that’s when this offense plays well.

“We got to be able to start better and get in a rhythm earlier so that we’re not in these deep holes when we get in the fourth quarter.”

For the Falcons, Tampa Bay was their first real test of the season and while we saw a lot of mistakes, we also saw several moments of what the team could be if they fixed those mistakes. However, the Falcons will be tested once again in Week 6 as they take on the San Francisco 49ers and another stingy defense.


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