Throughout this season as the Falcons mounted wins without incurring losses, they've discussed the idea of going undefeated as something that happens only if you go out each week and play each game as well as you can.
If going undefeated happened, it'd be because they did a lot of things right each week. If it didn't, they'd do what they could to prevent it from happening again. Sunday's loss to the Saints ended Atlanta's undefeated streak, but Smith said on Monday any talk of an undefeated season prior or after the fact doesn't spread around his locker room.
"When you lose a football game, you're not happy," Smith said. "There are 53 guys that went down to New Orleans and we didn't play well. Again, we don't focus on what people are saying outside our building. We know that we didn't play our best. The New Orleans Saints did. They played better than we did and they ended up getting the victory."
The Falcons have shown an ability to bounce back quickly after losses since Smith arrived in 2008. They've consistently done this under their current head coach. Smith and his Falcons are 18-3 since '08 after a loss.
What's more impressive is that all three of his back-to-back losses came in 2009, a 9-7 season that saw many important players fight through injuries all season.
Smith said he's still proud of how his team handled some adverse situations, even in the loss. Learning how to handle difficult circumstances in games like Sunday's will only help make them better as they continue through the season.
"We were down by 11 and had the ball down inside our 10-yard line, and we took it for a 90-yard-plus drive," Smith said. "That says a lot about the resolve of this football team."