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 Thursday:
- When a contest like Sunday's Falcons-Bengals game takes place and includes high-profile wide receivers, like Falcons WR Julio Jones and Bengals WR A.J. Green, the question always arises about how the duo compares; when asked about Green, Jones emphasized that the stars won't be individually competing against each other: "We're not on the field at the same time. He has to go against our defense; I have to go against his defense. We just go out there and try to make plays; we're two different players, who play the same position."
- As for the crowd noise the Falcons will face, during Sunday's road game, Jones is ready for anything, saying he and his teammates have to rise above all challenges. "You can't let the crowd get into it, that's why we're professionals; we have that ability to go out there and perform, under those situations."
- Minutes after Jones addressed reporters at his locker on Thursday, it was fellow star WR Roddy White's turn, beginning with his opinion of road games: "I love road games. They're the most exciting games; I like being at home and sleeping in my own bed, but when you go on the road and just the feeling that everybody is against you and it's just our 53 guys out there and we have to find a way to win over the crowd and get those guys to be quiet; it's just something about that feeling. We want to get out there and get it done."
- White was later asked about the tough Bengals defense and responded with high praise for their entire team: "Cincinnati has been to the playoffs the last three years. They have a good QB, good RB, good WR and a good defense too. They're really sound in everything they do. It's another show-and-prove game; we have to go out there and execute and try and get a win on the road."
- The Falcons offensive line did a phenomenal job in Week 1, allowing just one QB sack; entering Week 2, Falcons T Lamar Holmes says the challenge will be just as difficult, facing a tough Bengals D: "Overall, their entire defense is good. You can't just single out one guy. We just have to come together with the game plan that coach has put in store for us and just go out and execute it the way that we can."
- The Week 2 matchup against the Bengals will be the first road contest in the regular season for the Falcons rookies, including RB Devonta Freeman, who doesn't appear to be intimidated, and for good reason: "I don't really change what I do. I just try to stay focused on the process, no matter where I'm playing at. A lot of people try to make it seem like it's a big thing, when you're playing on the road, but I feel like if you prepare well and study for the test, then it doesn't matter where you take the test, it's football."
- The Bengals have plenty of weapons in all three phases, including QB Andy Dalton. Falcons DE Malliciah Goodman listed keys to limiting Dalton's success on Sunday: "Since he's a great QB, who gets the ball out quick, we have to close the pocket and get to him quick. We can't let him have open pass lanes, because he loves to scramble and will run in a heartbeat; so, we have to be sound in our rush lanes and get the LBs on him."