What They Said: Falcons vs. Cardinals

Posted Nov 19, 2012

Atlanta improved to 9-1 with its 23-19 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. The Falcons have had a lot of tough wins this season, but Sunday's may have been the most difficult of the season.

  • Atlanta's run game has been anything but imposing this season. In recent weeks, the Falcons have struggled in short-yardage situations, as well. In Sunday's win, the go-ahead touchdown stared the Falcons in the face, but 1 yard stood before them. Michael Turner got the 1 yard and gave the Falcons the lead. Head coach Mike Smith said afterwards it was a valuable yard to get: "We were able to get some movement and we were able to get that precious 1 yard. They are hard to come by. It was blocked correctly. The offensive line did a nice job and Michael was able to step in."

  • Atlanta's offense spent much of the game trying to get things in gear. It was as much a struggle on their behalf as it was a great effort from the Cardinals. Tony Gonzalez said turning the ball over six times usually means you don't win, especially against that defense: "We are very fortunate to come away with the win today. From a statistical standpoint, we were not supposed to win the game. I have to also give the Cardinals defense a lot of credit because they kept our offense from catching a groove in the game."

  • Although he had five interceptions Sunday, Matt Ryan remained optimistic and had to continue to encourage his teammates: "I think that there are a lot of hats you wear as a quarterback. Part of it is player, and part of it is keeping everybody on the same page and being relaxed. Our message was that even after turning the ball over three times in the first half, we were still right there; we were one score away."

  • Ryan has engineered a lot of comebacks in his time with the Falcons. On Sunday he struggled, but the defense came through in helping get the win. There were no hard feelings afterwards and Jonathan Babineaux said Sunday's win was all part of a team effort: "Matt has won this ball club a lot of games we shouldn't have. He's human. He's going to have a bad game. Our job as teammates is to go out there and make plays to get the ball back in his hands to win us the game. This team shows a lot of character with finding different ways to win tight games."

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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.