Skip to main content

6 Things to Know from Sunday's Victory

Alford Seals It:Robert Alford brought the house down with a game-winning, 59-yard pick-six in overtime—his second interception of the day. The third-year cornerback, who helped limit Kirk Cousins to 219 passing yards, shook off a late pass interference call to ensure the Falcons would come out on top.

"It's exciting, man," William Moore said of Alford's heroics. "I know Rocky worked his tail off. He's one of those guys, sort of like myself, he gets down on himself when things don't go his way and he wants to step up to the plate again. Rocky did that today, man. I'm so excited for him.

"You saw how he responded (to the penalty). That's what kind of guy he is."

Tamme Returns: After missing last week's game with a concussion, tight end Jacob Tamme picked up where he left off with an eight-catch, 94-yard performance. He tied Julio Jones with a team-high 10 targets and, thanks to his ability to overwhelm opposing linebackers, gave Matt Ryan a reliable option over the middle. He's now averaging 85.5 yards per game when thrown to six or more times.

Run Defense Comes Up Big: Atlanta's front seven held up well against RBs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, surrendering just 15 and 20 rushing yards to them, respectively. Jonathan Babineaux and his pair of tackles for loss were important to slowing down a group attack that came into Week 5 with more yards than any other NFL team.

"We just knew we had to knock the line back," Babineaux said. "Just be able to shed and get to the ball. They were the No. 1 rushing team in the league coming in today; we knew we had our hands full. And we accepted the challenge."

Freeman Shines Again: Following a historically good start to his year, Devonta Freeman once against turned in a productive afternoon—this time gaining 197 all-purpose yards and a crucial TD run with 24 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That catch, which erased a late deficit, came shortly after he had a touchdown catch reversed by an official review.

On a day when the passing game wasn't at its best, Freeman's rushing prowess allowed the Falcons to move the ball enough to stay undefeated.

"For us, that balance is really important," said Dan Quinn. "The fact that we're able to run it and have success that way opens up so much of the play action and the keepers that we like to feature. Having that balance there is a really important part of what we like to do."

Roddy Gets Involved: Roddy White hauled in two catches, the latter of which—a seven-yard throw-and-catch—set up Freeman's six-yard score in the waning moments of regulation. The Georgia Dome crowd erupted into a "Roddy" chant after that grab: a gesture that didn't go unappreciated.

"It means a lot," said White. "When you've been around this long, and when you've been on a team this long, it means a lot when people are behind me, that they want to see me work hard and succeed."

Quinning Continues: With Sunday's victory, Dan Quinn became the sixth head coach since 1970 to win the first five games of his NFL head coaching career. It also gave Atlanta its second 5-0 start in franchise history.

"We never had any doubts," Alford said. "We were down when we came in (at halftime), we talked up each other, we knew the game wasn't over … We believed in each other, we believed in these coaches, we believed in the grind."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content