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Falcons' Dan Quinn not ready to give up on season

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Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn looks on during the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Round against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 13, 2018 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI

By The Sports Xchange

A season that began with such promise for the Atlanta Falcons has come unglued.

A 1-3 start, including back-to-back home losses, has fans wondering if the season is already shot.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has a different view on things. He's not ready to fly the white flag just yet. In fact, he's only just begun to fight.

"I understand where it could [be a concern] because of the close losses where the frustration could get in," Quinn said. "The best thing about our team is the attitude that they're in for one another and the togetherness that it's going to take. We'll just throw all our focus, all of our attention right into right now, and that'll be this week's preparation."

The last two games have been particularly painful since they came against the New Orleans Saints in an overtime game and against the Cincinnati Bengals in a 37-36 game that ended on the final possession. Even more frustrating is the fact that Atlanta has not had a turnover the last two weeks.

"I look at the opportunity for us [against the Bengals]," quarterback Matt Ryan said. "We had a couple situations in the red area where we came away with field goals instead of touchdowns, one being on a short-field situation. And those are times where you have to come away with touchdowns. I know we can do better that what we've done in the last couple of weeks."

The Falcons are struggling without three key defensive starters -- safety Keanu Neal, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Ricardo Allen. They did get defensive end Takk McKinley back from a groin injury, but were without defensive lineman Derrick Shelby. The Falcons were victimized for 337 yards and three touchdowns by Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton.

Atlanta gave up 28 points in the first half, but only nine points in the second half. However, the Falcons couldn't come up with a stop on the Bengals' final drive.

"I thought we had our chances, whether it was beating the leverage or making plays," Quinn said. "We allowed a fourth-down conversion during that drive as well. So those are the moments I'm talking about where it's time to close the door and shut it. We're going to develop that instinct. We do not have it as we need to right now."

But is there enough time?

"The three losses we've had have been tough as hell because they've come right down to the end," Quinn said. "It's creating those moments to find those right calls at the right time and putting guys in the right spaces."

NOTES:

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WR Mohamed Sanu caught six passes against the Bengals, his former team, for 111 yards. It was his first 100-yard receiving game since joining the Falcons in 2016 and his first since 2014.

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DE Takk McKinley returned from missing last week's game to have three sacks, all in the second half. McKinley was out the previous week with a groin injury.

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WR Calvin Ridley caught two more touchdown passes and became the first rookie to have six touchdown catches in his first four career games.

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CB Isaiah Oliver saw an increased number of snaps against the Bengals. The rookie has been hobbled with a bad ankle. The winning touchdown pass to A.J. Green was threaded between Oliver and fellow cornerback Brian Poole.

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RB Devonta Freeman missed his third straight game with a knee contusion. He did work out on the field last week, an indication that he is closer to being ready.

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DE Derrick Shelby missed the Bengals game with a groin injury suffered against the Saints. His status is not known.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Falcons' Dan Quinn not ready to give up on season
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