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Falcons' TD-less over last 26 possessions

D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Football

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Without some of his key weapons for the foreseeable future, Falcons coach Arthur Smith, formerly an offensive coordinator, must figure out how to get his offense back on track.

Over the last 27 possessions, the Falcons have not scored a touchdown and have just one field goal.

Since Olamide Zaccheaus caught a 6-yard touchdown pass with 10:46 to play against the Saints on Nov. 7, the Falcons have not scored a touchdown.

The Falcons rallied to beat the Saints 27-25, but were pummeled 43-3 by Dallas and 25-0 by New England to follow.

The Falcons (4-6) are set to play the Jaguars (2-8) at 1 p.m. Sunday at TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville. Smith promised to fix the issues.

“I’m not gonna get into the schematic stuff that I will probably tweak here,” Smith said. “There won’t be any major changes when you’re in the middle of the season. Like every team, you’re dealing with the injuries and things that come up. We’ve clearly got to play better. We’ve got to play smarter. You know, really go back to Thursday night, (we) didn’t handle situational football (well).”

 

The Falcons appears set to move on without wide receiver Calvin Ridley (mental health/non-football injury list), running back Cordarelle Patterson (ankle sprain) and tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle/injured reserve).

Over the scoring drought, the Falcons have punted 12 times, thrown seven interceptions, been stopped on fourth down three times, kicked two field goals, missed one field goal and had the ball at the end of the half. Of the 12 punts, 10 were on three-and-outs.

“Yeah, that’s pretty accurate, there,” Smith said. “You know, a lot of it, you go back to situational football. Right, the first two drives at the Dallas game, you’ve got a chance to put points on the board. ... We kick a field goal on the first possession, second possession (stopped on fourth and 1), a couple three and outs. We don’t handle the end of the half and get a punt blocked.”

Winning the field position battles and drive starts have been an issue over the 26 possessions. Only three of the drives started beyond the Falcons’ 30-yard line. Five of the drives have started inside their own 20-yard line.

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