What They Said: Falcons At Lions

Posted Dec 23, 2012

The Falcons used a four-touchdown night from Matt Ryan and another stifling defensive effort to improve to 13-2 on the season and clinch home-field advantage through the playoffs.

Head coach Mike Smith on coming back after an emotional win: “Well I thought we responded well especially in the first 30 minutes. Gave up way too may yards defensively. Only gave up 16 points and then we gave up the safety. As we’ve always said it’s all about points. Some of those yards and what we call ‘empty yards,’ like empty calories. Was not concerned, I knew our guys were going to be prepared and ready to go. We had a very good week of practice. And we were as a staff and as a team I think that we were well prepared. Played a very good first half and we were able to come back there in the fourth quarter.”

Matt Ryan on the touchdown drive in the fourth quarter: “You know what, we talked about it. The third quarter, Detroit had the momentum and, you know, some games just shake out like that. There’s eb and flow. We talked at that time. Our defense did a great job holding them to three points there in the tight red zone and that’s the time you need to step up and you need to take the game over. I thought we did a great job of it on that drive in the fourth quarter. Converted a couple of third downs, kept it going and we were able to punch it in. That was a huge momentum changer.”

Julio Jones on having the best record in the league: “I mean, the sky’s the limit for this team. We’ve just got to keep working and getting better week in and week out. It starts with the practice. All the guys come to practice. We fly around, have fun, just working together. I feel like this is a team now. And I mean, the sky’s the limit. Once you’ve got the next guy’s back beside you and you’re not worrying about yourself, I mean, the sky’s the limit for you.”

Sean Weatherspoon on following up last week's win with another good effort: “I think it shows that we’re a resilient group and that regardless, it all started from that Carolina game. They busted our tails and then we started working the right way, just playing together, just feeding off each other, trying to do it together because we know that we’ve got guys on this team like Mike Peterson, Tony Gonzalez, Todd McClure, I don’t want to leave anybody out, but these guys were playing in the League for a long time and they’re chasing the ring now so we’ve got to help them get there and it starts with next week.”

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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of the individual authors. Unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Atlanta Falcons’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. The writers’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Falcons officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.