Falcons Struggle In Red Zone – Again

The red zone continues to be an issue for Atlanta – and The Fan's John Kincade knows why

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
September 07, 2018 - 8:08 am

USA Today Images


The Atlanta Falcons opened 2018 just like they ended 2017: with a low-scoring loss in Philadelphia. Yes, after losing 15-10 to the Eagles in the divisional playoffs in January, the Falcons lost their season-opener in Philly, 18-12, on Thursday.

“I actually liked some new wrinkles that I saw out of Steve Sarkisian’s offense, but in the red zone, I saw the same problems,” CBS Sports Radio and Atlanta’s The Fan host John Kincade said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “To me, it’s a personnel issue. Yes, they have stars. They have (Devonta) Freeman and (Tevin) Coleman – two exceptional backs. They’ve got Julio Jones. They’ve got Mohamed Sanu. They’re not getting anything from their tight ends. But the problem is there’s nothing changed on the lines of scrimmage that were leading me to believe that the Falcons were ready to win the game.”

The Falcons scored just six points through three quarters before Tevin Coleman found the end zone from 9 yards out. Then Matt Bryant missed a PAT. Then they lost.

“The Eagles were better on both lines of scrimmage,” Kincade said, “and to me, that’s what doesn’t change. When the Falcons get in the red zone, that’s when the other team doesn’t have as much ground to cover. It’s more like you’re playing in a phone booth at that point. If you play a team that wants to knock you around a little bit – last year the Falcons played the Vikings, they played the Eagles, they played the Patriots. They scored 7, 9 and 10.”

That’s not good.

“That’s 26 points in the three games against the best teams they played,” Kincade said. “Now, their offense was high-flying against other teams, but when they play great teams that want to get physical – and when it gets to that red zone, I think the offensive line is getting owned. I don’t think it’s a Julio problem. I don’t think it’s a Matt (Ryan) problem. I see Matt under duress in the red zone where I think other quarterbacks have a little bit more time to operate.”

The Falcons (0-1) play five of their next six games at home, beginning with Carolina on Sept. 16. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.