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QB Matt Ryan


Very slow start offensively. What do you attribute that to?

"It's tough to put your finger on it. It was. Felt like we had a good plan coming into it, and we just haven't been able to get into sync early enough in games throughout the year. That's something that we have to address and get better at and fix because there are times where it's actually very good. We need to strive for better consistency, better starts, and just get into a rhythm earlier."

Was the game plan always to get it to the tight end and you just didn't execute that in the first half?

"Yeah, I thought – well, I'll say this, I thought our tight ends played awesome. Mo (Alie-Cox), Jelani (Woods), Kylen (Granson), all three of those guys played really, really well for us, and I thought we had a good plan to try and utilize them in some different ways, and we did a very good job of that. Across the board though, in some of the other areas, we've got to be better. We've got to start faster and we've got to figure it out quick. We've got a quick turnaround this week, and certainly need a better start on Thursday night."

Do you know what's causing the fumbling issues? Do you need to do something different?

"Certainly have to do something different. I think you've just got to protect it better. This week will be a short week. There's not going to be a lot of physical work to do it. I go back to I think I've been pretty good throughout my career. It's been a very uncharacteristic four-game stretch. It's something I've got to clean up and got to be better at. Find a way this week. I think if we can put together a clean game, just go out there and put together a clean game where we're not turning it over, we're executing the way we can, I think we can be very good."

How much do you think the fumbles are setting the team back?

"Turnovers are always, they're one of the – if not the most important one or two most critical stats when it comes to winning ballgames or at least giving yourself a chance to win. I've got to do a better job protecting it. We collectively have to do a better job protecting it, and I think if we can do that, we can be pretty good."

Does the quarterback need to learn to trust the protection even if they're struggling?

"Yeah, I think that there's – I actually thought it was on balance, compared to the rest of the season. I thought it was a better day for us there. Yeah, you definitely have to trust all the players around you. I think that's what makes winning in this league so rewarding, is that it's never just one player. It's the collective that gets the job done. So you have to trust other players to make plays and to do their responsibilities. But with that said, the ball is in my hand every snap, so it starts with me." 

Does it make it tough being down 17? It kind of makes you have to play the rest of the game perfect.

"Listen, you can find a way when you're down 17 to get the job done, but it makes it extremely difficult. Your margin for error from that point on is like zero. It's not a place you want to be often. Sometimes you're there and you've got to find a way and you've got to be resilient. But it does, it makes it very difficult to overcome, and it's certainly not what we're – it's not the intent going out there. We'd love to play from in front." 

What happened on your second fumble?

"Yeah, I was trying to get the ball out. I was getting ready to pull and throw and try and bring him down. I can't remember who the wide receiver was on the right side, but we had an out-breaking route on the right side trying to bring him down the stem with that. It's just one of those things that as you're getting ready to pull it, sometimes they're in the right place at the right time." 

Where was the run game today? It's been the backbone of this team the past few years.

"Yeah, we struggled running the football today. It has been the backbone of the Colts for a long time. But we haven't been exceptional in that to start the year. It's an area that I certainly think we can improve and get better, and it's one of those things that sometimes you've got to get into that game too. You've got to get into a flow. Certainly in the run game, a couple of explosives here and there get you into that flow. We just haven't been able to create those."

Can you avoid a batted pass?

"It's hard. We had exactly what we wanted. We had Alec (Pierce) wide open. If you figure it out, I'll be around Tuesday or Wednesday, let me know."

What about this team tells you that you guys can bounce back?

"I think we've got the right makeup, the right kind of guys. It's a group that comes to work the right way every day. There's a level of intensity and focus, and I think the way we've kind of been in games throughout the year shows that. Certainly not in the positions we want to be in, but there's no letup, there's no lack of fight or grit. All of that stuff is there. I think if we can figure out how to clean up the things that we need to clean up, that grit and that fight is going to pay dividends for us as the year goes on."

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