The Atlanta Falcons are off to a surprisingly slow start to the 2013 season, managing to exceed their 2012 loss total in just five games in 2013 with a Week 5 loss to the New York Jets, 30-28. At 1-4, the Falcons are already four games behind the New Orleans Saints for the lead in the NFC South and have their work cut out for them, but head coach Mike Smith says the team isn't discouraged by the stumble out of the gate.
"We are disappointed but we are not discouraged," Smith said in the news conference after the game. "Now we have to use this bye week to evaluate everything we do, keep on fighting."
The schedule after the bye week would seem to present the Falcons with a solid opportunity to bounce back in to contention, beginning with a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before a pair of road games against the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Smith isn't looking ahead at that upcoming schedule yet, though.
"We have to not concern ourselves beyond the next week," Smith said. "First thing we would like to do is spend a couple days in the bye week on the Atlanta Falcons, and then our focus will switch to one game at a time."
Particularly frustrating for the Falcons is that they have managed to out-gain their opponent in total yardage and accumulate more first downs in each loss during their three-game skid.
"I feel like we are not making the plays that we need to make," Smith said.
In Smith's first five seasons as head coach of the Falcons, since taking over in 2008, the Falcons have never had a three-game losing streak and have never been two or more games under .500.