Falcons vs. Panthers: Mike Smith laments 3rd down failures

Streeter Lecka

The Falcons struggled on third downs on both sides of the ball in the loss to the Panthers on Sunday, which upset coach Mike Smith.

The Atlanta Falcons came out flat on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, falling behind 20-0 before ultimately losing 30-20. One of the biggest reasons for the loss were third-down failures on both sides of the ball, which really disappointed head coach Mike Smith (via Falcons.com):

Well, our third-down efficiency on both sides of the ball. I think the three field goals that they kicked were the only times that they were stopped on third down there in the red zone. We got some red zone stops, didn't force a punt in the first half, and the time of possession was so skewed that you really didn't get an opportunity to get going. Those were the things that are most disappointing now.

The Atlanta defense simply could not get off the field much of the day, allowing Cam Newton and the Carolina offense to convert on 9-of-15 third downs. Meanwhile, the normally potent Falcons offense only managed to convert 2-of-8 on third down.

Smith was very surprised at how poorly his team played, as the coach said the Falcons had a good week in practice. But Smith is not all that concerned and said the game should be a lesson to his team that they need to be ready to play every week:

Oh, it's a great teaching point in terms of - well, we've got to be playing our best football. We want to play our best football here in the fourth quarter. We didn't do it today. We've got three more opportunities to get playing at the level that we would like to be playing at.

Things will not get any easier for Atlanta next week when the New York Giants come to town in a bout between NFC heavyweights. At 11-2, the Falcons are in the drivers seat in the NFC, but another loss would make things really interesting.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.