Another game, another rough outing for Matt Ryan against the New England Patriots.
Thursday night's 25-0 defeat was especially frightening for the Falcons quarterback, who was shut out at home for the first time in his 14-year career, and bruised and battered far enough to be taken out of the game for mercy's sake.
"Lack of production," Ryan said afterward. "Whatever that is caused by, that's the most disappointing. I think our defense did a nice job keeping us in the game the entire night, even well into the fourth quarter, you know, making it a two-score game. We had chances. We've got to find a way. Whatever it is, whatever we have to do, we have to find a way to be more productive than we've been."
The Falcons offense was held to 165 total yards for the game and its issues started at the line of scrimmage. Ryan was sacked four times and sustained 12 QB hits by a Patriots defense that pinned its ears back all night. According to Next Gen Stats, Ryan was pressured on an astounding 50% of his drop backs (29.3% in Weeks 1-10) and went 1 of 4 for 6 passing yards and two interceptions versus the blitz.
"I thought they did a good job defensively of trying to create internal pressure and stress some of the things that we do," Ryan said. "We certainly have to be better than we were today but credit to them -- I thought they played well."
Adding to Ryan's excruciating night was the attrition he sustained throughout the evening. Ryan limped off the field in the second quarter after taking a sack from Kyle Van Noy which ended one of just two Falcons drives into the red zone. Adding insult to injury, Ryan received a gash on his left forearm on the same play but remained in the game. Furthering the insult, Younghoe Koo missed a 50-yard field goal after an illegal formation penalty negated his original make from 45 yards.
"The toe is fine," said Ryan, who was part of the Falcons' first shutout since Week 14 of 2015 against the Carolina Panthers. "I think it will be OK going forward. ... I don't think it impacted throwing and I thought I moved fine. So, I don't think it impacted it too much."
Of course, the Falcons were short-handed Thursday night with Cordarrelle Patterson inactive with a hamstring injury. As the Falcons leader in scrimmage yards (776) and total touchdowns (seven), Patterson's absence was felt on a team that didn't surpass 100 yards of offense until late in the third quarter.
"It's always tough when you don't have some of your guys out there," Ryan said. "CP's been such a big part of what we've done offensively, but we, the rest of the group, just didn't do enough to be as productive as we needed to be. It's always tough when guys are out but it's never an excuse -- you got to find a way to get the job done It wasn't good enough on the offensive side of the ball."
Down, 19-0, with under two minutes to play, Atlanta trotted out backup QB Josh Rosen in relief of Ryan, but that didn't stop the bleeding. Rosen's third pass attempt was intercepted by Van Noy and taken 35 yards to the house for the game's final score. Rosen was then relieved by third-stringer Feleipe Franks, who threw a pick to Adrian Phillips on his first attempt.
Ryan's night ended with him going 19 of 28 for 153 yards, no touchdowns and two picks. His 51.6 passer rating on the night comes days after his 21.6 passer rating on Sunday. According to NFL Research, it's the first time in Ryan's career he has logged a passer rating under 60 in consecutive games.
Thursday night's loss also added to Ryan's winless record against Bill Belichick. Ryan's record fell to 0-5 against the Belichick-led Patriots, including the playoffs, according to NFL Research. The Falcons as a franchise have lost six straight games to New England since 2000, including the playoffs.
Atlanta's dreadful outing was a continuation from last Sunday's 43-3 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys. Scoring just three points in the last eight quarters, the Falcons (4-6) are stuck in the mud offensively and staring at their fourth straight season with a losing record.
"It's been a tough five days offensively," Ryan lamented. "I think it's just across the board. We haven't thrown the ball well enough, we haven't run the ball well enough, I've got to be more accurate. We all have to be more effective with what we're asked to do in terms of the game plan. So, we have a nice little extra few days to take a deep dive into what we can do better moving forward and we certainly have to take advantage of that."