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Falcons will focus on fixing red zone offense, scoring explosiveness in 2018, per Steve Sarkisian

The team will be looking to get better where it counts the most.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody and their mom knows that the 2017 Atlanta Falcons fell woefully short in the red zone, and it’s not lost on them that they need to improve.

Team OC Steve Sarkisian mentioned to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that this will be an area of specific focus for the team going forward.

“At the end of the day it was executing in the red area,” Sarkisian said on Wednesday, the last day of Organized Team Activities. “When you get those opportunities, seven points is a big difference than three points. It’s not really a big difference in the overall stat and where you rank, but it’s a big difference in-game and how games go. That’s a big focus for us.”

In addition to improving in the red zone, the Falcons want to score more on their big-gain plays.

“We were third in the league in explosive plays,” Sarkisian said. “But we were in the middle of the pack in the league of touchdowns of 25 yards or more. We have to find a way to turn those explosive plays into touchdown explosive plays. Those two things will be a big factor for us.”

He also mentions continuity in scoring as a key factor going forward for the team.

“Continuity is one of those things, but at the end of the day the end result is the end result,” Sarkisian said. “To be good in this league, you want to score points. It’s not always about the yards or the third-down conversions or the explosive plays, it’s the final score that is the final stat that matters the most. We need to do our part to make that factor go up.”

The Falcons could’ve been much better off on offense last season if they’d just cashed in on more opportunities and had not been so reliant on the golden foot of K Matt Bryant. It’s refreshing to hear Sark be so open about what didn’t work, and what the team plans on doing to address those issues moving ahead.

Getting a guy like Julio Jones more involved down low certainly helps, but it’s also in being creative to use your guy’s strengths to make plays, and in being creative to scheme them to get open and to trick defenses. Creativity was as big a problem as any for Sark last season, so he’s going to have to work up a few more rouses next season for the team to take the strides they need.

But, for now, we get total transparency with what didn’t work last year, and what needs to improve, from the guy charged with fixing it. That’s a good place to start.