mostlycloudy
Thursday May 26th, 2016 6:39AM

Falcons' offense is missing in second half of loss

By The Associated Press
FLOWERY BRANCH -- Roddy White says the Falcons' 10th loss was especially painful.

Atlanta's offense disappeared after taking a 21-10 lead at Green Bay on Sunday. The Falcons were shut out in the second half of the 22-21 loss to the Packers.

It was a disappointing finish after such a strong start. Steven Jackson had 55 yards rushing and White had five catches as the Falcons built the first-half lead.

"It's a game you've got to win," White said.

White said he knew the Falcons couldn't sit on the lead.

"When I came back in to the locker room, I told everybody we needed another field goal, another score to win this game," he said. "We knew they were going to make their runs. There's always ebbs and flows in games. You know at some point they're going to make their run so we had to counter and get a drive together and score whatever points we could get. Unfortunately, we didn't do that."

The Falcons (3-10) had no first downs in the third quarter and then were hurt by two fourth-quarter turnovers - a fumble and interception by quarterback Matt Ryan.

Late dropped passes by Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez also were costly as the Falcons failed in their attempt to drive for a last-minute field goal.

Coach Mike Smith said the frozen turf at Lambeau Field hardened after halftime, making traction more difficult, especially for the running game. Jackson had only 16 yards rushing in the second half.

The temperature for kickoff was 9 degrees.

"I think that the field got frozen in the second half," Smith said Monday. "I think if you look at the numbers on both sides of the ball, the running numbers went down in the second half. The footing was much different in the second half than it was in the first half."

Smith said the field was not an excuse for poor execution.

"This group doesn't give up," Smith said. "We're playing hard. We're playing with a lot of energy. We're just not very precise in our execution. That's the thing that's hurt us the most."

The Falcons couldn't establish their offense when the running game faltered. Jackson was held to 3 yards on Atlanta's first snap of the second half. The possession ended quickly with two incompletions.

On their second series of the third quarter, the Falcons again tried to run on first down. This time, Jackson was stopped for only 1 yard, setting the stage for another three-and-out.

"That was a really tough stretch, anytime you string together consecutive three-and-outs," offensive guard Justin Blaylock said Monday. "That does not give you a chance to win ballgames, no matter what kind of lead you build up."

The Falcons managed only 136 yards in the second half and 285 total yards.

The offense had big assists from Atlanta's defense. One of the three first-half touchdowns came on a 71-yard interception return by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

William Moore sacked Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn in the second quarter, causing a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Malliciah Goodman at the Packers 13. Ryan took advantage of the short field with a four-play drive capped by his touchdown pass to Gonzalez.

It was a rare highlight for the offense.

"It's disappointing," Ryan said. "We jumped out to an early lead, the defense created some turnovers for us and we capitalized on it, but we weren't able to get it done offensively in the second half. We had chances, we moved the ball in a couple different situations, but stalled out when we got into scoring situations. We have to be better than that."

The architect of the Atlanta offense could soon be leaving. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has interviewed for the Boise State head coach position.

Koetter, a native of Pocatello, Idaho, was Boise State's coach from 1998-2000.

"I know he has ties and was the coach there before," Blaylock said. "I love the guy and wish him the best, no matter what happens. I hope it's here."

NOTES: Safety Thomas DeCoud left the game with a concussion late in the first quarter and must clear the NFL's concussion protocol before he can be cleared for Sunday's game against the Redskins. ... Smith said running back Antone Smith's knee injury is not believed to be serious and is expected to return to practice this week.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
High school season over, Branch grad Shewbert still eyeing big things in coming weeks
Jake Shewbert was just a few hundred meters from the finish line, a second state championship in as many days hanging in the balance, when the pain ripped through his body.
5:56PM ( 11 hours from now )
VIDEO: Baseball playoffs yielded highlights worth watching -- again
Check out the best highlights from the recently completed state baseball playoffs...
5:51PM ( 11 hours from now )
Lanier Olympic Center set for another big weekend, as collegiate rowers descend on Gainesville
For the second weekend in a row, the Lake Lanier Olympic Center will buzz with activity, as athletes pack into the venue in pursuit of glory.
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:35PM ( 10 hours from now )
Kyle Ray Named to 2016 USTFCCCA All-Region Team for NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field
Piedmont College freshman pole vaulter Kyle Ray has been named to the 2016 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region team for the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:10AM ( 6 hours ago )
Dawsonville's Raymond Parks named to NASCAR Hall of Fame for 2017
Georgia’s Raymond Parks played a strong role in formation of NASCAR. On Wednesday, it was announced that he will be recognized for that role.
6:00PM ( 12 hours ago )