Dan Quinn Supports Steve Sarkisian After 4th-Down Call at End of Loss to Eagles

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Mills (31) celebrates after Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones cannot catch a touchdown during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told reporters he had no problem with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's play call that led to an incompletion on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line on the team's final possession of Saturday night's 15-10 divisional-round loss to the Philadelphia Eagles

"It's called a sprint pass, a sprint out," Quinn said, per NFL.com's Nick Shook. "Often times you may get it man-to-man in those scenarios. As a former defensive coordinator, I recognize that's a plan that people do employ. We were looking for that opportunity, that matchup on that specific play. That's what we thought was going to be the best play call for that time.

"There was no stress from a time standpoint. We had our timeouts. That's what we thought was the best play to go win the game. We didn't execute it and they did. That's really where the story is on that play."

As it turns out, the Eagles were prepared for that call. 

"We probably had three guys calling out the play on that one just based on our preparation, our study," safety Malcolm Jenkins said, according to NFL Network's James Palmer. "We're going to play the odds. And so we're talking. We're making adjustments on the coverage between DB to DB and linebacker to linebacker and just making sure everyone knows what's coming and got a stop." 

The fourth-down misfire also ensured the Falcons went scoreless in the second half as the Eagles rallied and scored six unanswered points to win a low-scoring slugfest. 

The question now is if Sarkisian will return for a second season on the Falcons sideline. 

"Like all parts of the organization with [general manager] Thomas [Dimitroff] and I, we access and see how we can do things better," Quinn said of impending evaluations. "There's certainly parts offensively that we'll want to do better, defensively as well. So all phases we'll really access and look into."

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