Sunday was supposed to be the game when the offense clicked with a fast start at home and the defense did just enough to survive against the Los Angeles Rams. Instead, the Falcons' offense was stuck in park from the outset, managing just three points in the first half as the Falcons faced their fifth double-digit halftime deficit this season.
It resulted in a 37-10 loss, Atlanta's fifth straight, dropping its record to 1-6. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals are the only team in the Super Bowl era to start 1-6 and make the playoffs.
To make matters worse, the Falcons have MVP candidate Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks coming to town next.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn's seat just got a little hotter, although owner Arthur Blank still seems unlikely to make a midseason change in which he hands the reins to assistant head coach Raheem Morris, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter or tight ends coach Mike Mularkey -- all former head coaches. But you can't blame Quinn for the fact that Koetter's offense took a step back against the Rams.
The offensive line play was horrendous, leading to Ryan getting sacked five times, including the final one by Rams DT Aaron Donald that led to the ankle injury.
The pressure on Ryan seemed to get him off his game. He missed some passes that he usually connects on. Mohamed Sanu, usually sure-handed, had a drop that led to an interception. The Falcons were just 3-of-12 on third down. They couldn't get the running game going -- finishing with 38 total rushing yards -- especially after Devonta Freeman got ejected for throwing a punch at Donald and backup Ito Smith left the game with a head/neck injury.
Receiver Julio Jones said a few weeks ago the Falcons needed to average 21-28 points per game on offense. Well, it looks more like they need to average 35-55 to win these days. And that's not happening.
Quarterback breakdown: Before exiting with the injury, Ryan completed 16 of 27 passes for 159 yards with no touchdowns, one interception (created by the Sanu drop) and a QB rating of 60.6. The question now is whether Ryan will miss any games. The Falcons have the Seahawks next then the bye before starting NFC South play against New Orleans. There's no sense in taking a chance with the health of your franchise QB, despite the desperate times facing Quinn and the Falcons.
Sideshow: The Julio Jones-Jalen Ramsey battle was about the only interesting thing to watch from a Falcons perspective. Ramsey talked trash to Jones every time, and Jones just seemed to laugh it off. Jones had six catches for 93 yards on nine targets, including a 39-yard reception with Ramsey on him. But Ramsey got the last laugh with the victory.
Sack-less: Quinn talked about ramping up the pressure this week, but the Falcons didn't record a sack again and had just three quarterback hits. Vic Beasley, who is on the trade block, had two tackles and didn't start the game. Deion Jones led the Falcons with 11 tackles, including three for loss.