Quinn stands by fourth-down call in Falcons' OT loss
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Dan Quinn didn't hesitate to keep his offense on the field for a fourth-down call in overtime against San Diego on Sunday. One day later, the Atlanta coach was just as quick to say he'd do it again.
Before answering questions at his weekly news conference on Monday, Quinn addressed his decision to call a running play on fourth and 1 from the Atlanta 45. Devonta Freeman was stopped behind the line by Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman. Six plays later, Josh Lambo kicked a 42-yard field goal to give San Diego the 33-30 win .
''I lost sleep last night because of the outcome,'' Quinn said. ''I didn't lose sleep because of the decision to go for it, I can promise you that. We have one of the very best offenses in the NFL, and we're going to ride that horse.''
Quinn said he learned a painful lesson in the Falcons' 17-16 loss at San Francisco last season. Quinn decided to kick a field goal on a fourth-and-goal play from the 49ers' 1 instead of leaving his offense on the field for a possible go-ahead touchdown.
Quinn said if he had one ''do-over'' from last season, it would be going for the touchdown against the 49ers.
''It bothered me all that season and it bothered me in the offseason because I didn't send the message to the team that I believe, and I so do,'' Quinn said.
Quinn vowed he would send a consistent aggressive message this season, even if that leads to his gambles being second-guessed.
''We still have a long way to go,'' he said. ''We have lots of work to do, but what I do know is we're going to be an aggressive outfit, and one that attacks in all three phases.''
A breakdown in blocking allowed Perryman to shoot through the line and drop Freeman.
''We had a missed assignment where we didn't get the job done,'' Quinn said, adding Freeman ''did not have a chance to really get going.''
Left tackle Jake Matthews said Monday ''it's on me.''
''I did get a little tripped up,'' Matthews said. ''I think I could have had better footwork. It was my fault. I've got to get it fixed.''
The Falcons (4-3) have lost two straight entering Sunday's home game against Green Bay.
The offensive line drew six penalties - four false starts and two holding calls. Back-to-back false-start penalties were called on right tackle Ryan Schraeder and left guard Andy Levitre on Atlanta's final possession of regulation.
''To have that many fouls, that will set you back as much as anything,'' Quinn said.
The penalty on Levitre set up a first-and-20 pass from Matt Ryan that was intercepted by Perryman, leading to Lambo's tying field goal.
''After looking at it, it was just little things, missed communications or little lapses,'' Matthews said. ''We've just got to get it fixed. There's really no excuse for it.''
NOTES: Quinn said it was too early to diagnose the severity of RB Tevin Coleman's strained hamstring. Coleman left the game in the third quarter and did not return. He was seen flexing his left leg on the sideline. If Coleman can't play this week, Quinn said Terron Ward likely would be signed from the practice squad. ... The Falcons had four sacks against the Chargers, including two from Vic Beasley Jr. One of Beasley's sacks forced a fumble recovered by Adrian Clayborn for a touchdown.
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