After a thrilling overtime victory against the New Orleans Saints in the season-opener, here are some storylines to watch heading into the Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here are some of the top quotes from the Falcons' open locker room session with the media Wednesday:
- Days after his record-setting win against the New Orleans Saints, Falcons QB Matt Ryan was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week; the team's signal-caller said it's not an individual award: "I think we had a lot of guys that were critical in making that happen. A lot of people were making really good plays out there. Whenever one guy gets it on the team, I think everybody shares in that, because it's the ultimate team sport. You're dependent on the offensive line, you're dependent on the running backs and the wide receivers and I thought everybody pulled their weight."
- The other Matty Ice in the locker room, Falcons K Matt Bryant, also was recognized by the league for his Week 1 performance, named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week: "It's an honor," Bryant said. "It's a privilege to be recognized by the league. I go out each week and try to do my best and last week, my best happened to be three FGs at crucial times in the game; the main thing is getting the win, the award after that is icing on the cake."
- The Falcons will see more great receivers in Week 2, headlined by Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green. Falcons CB Desmond Trufant was asked what makes Green so good. "His speed," Trufant said. "He has good hands, he can stretch the field and he's quick; they do a lot of bubble screens and out routes to him to make guys miss. He's just well-rounded."
- Fellow Falcons CB Robert Alford offered two key objectives, when trying to have success against Green: "Technique and studying film on him," Alford said.
- Falcons LBs Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu will again spearhead the LB corps in Week 2. Worrilow was asked his perspective on road games: "Just another game, Worrilow said. "They're a tough team at home; they play well at home, so, it's definitely going to be a challenge, but when it comes down to it, it's just another football game." Bartu was asked about keys to success against a Bengals offense led by QB Andy Dalton: "We have to put pressure on Dalton," Bartu said. "We have to give him different looks, disguise our coverages and make him feel uncomfortable in the pocket and throw his timing off."
- While some players like Worrilow see road games as just another test, Falcons DE Jonathan Massaquoi embraces road contests: "I love road games," Massaquoi said. "It's like us against the world; it's going to be a knock-down-drag-out fight, until you exit the stadium."
- If you missed the "Mic'd Up" segment with Falcons DE Kroy Biermann, click here; as for what Biermann has noticed about the Bengals from watching film: "They've got some playmakers," Biermann said. "They're a competitive group of guys. They run some gadgets; they're a big screen team. Obviously, they're strong in the red zone and they challenge a defense to know what they're doing to do."
- The Falcons won the turnover battle in Week 1, thanks in part to Falcons CB Robert McClain, who picked off Saints QB Drew Brees in the end zone. Entering Week 2, McClain was asked about creating miscues for the opposition: "Turnovers are big every week," McClain said. "It's important for us to always get to that ball and get it out of the players' hands. It's going to be huge this week, going into their stadium and getting a lot of turnovers; it'll help our percentage of winning and that's what we're always aiming to do."