Falcons head coach Mike Smith talked about the Falcons' victory over the reigning Super Bowl champs, and discussed the performance of quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner as he spoke with the media after the game Sunday.
"I told the guys that you've got to fight through adversity to win games in this league. I can't tell you how proud I am of the men in our locker room and the members of our football team. We fought our tails off today. That was a hard fought game. It went well beyond 60 minutes, (it went) almost 75 minutes. I like the effort that our team put out today. I'm very proud of them.
On the victory over the Saints: **
"As I told the guys in the locker room over there, we want to know how our guys appropriately handle victory and defeat. We had an opportunity after week one to see how we handle defeat. We had an opportunity after week two to have victory and adulation. We've got to keep that in mind. It's a long season. Sixteen games is hard fought. The New Orleans Saints are an outstanding football team. We'll have the opportunity to play them again, being a division opponent."
On winning in overtime: **
"Our offensive line did an outstanding job after the missed field goal. We kind of took over control of the line of scrimmage, ultimately that is at the core of what we want to be as a football team. We want to control the line of scrimmage. I thought our guys on the offensive line did a very good job."
On going for it multiple times on fourth down:**
"I felt very confident in moving the ball in the drive right before the half. We knew that they were going to get the ball back and receive the opening kickoff in the second half, so we wanted to try and get a touchdown out of that drive. We felt very confident in the offense. During the fourth quarter when it was fourth and six, we were about at the 37-yard line and I felt like we had a play that we had for that situation. We got the match that we wanted and the ball was tipped down at the line of scrimmage. I felt like if you (punt) it in the end zone there, you're only giving up 17 yards of field position. That was the thought process on those situations during the game."
On 10 minute drive in second quarter:**
"I thought that that was not necessarily a turning point, but it was a statement when you talk about controlling the tempo of the football game. That's at the core of what they (the Saints) want to do. They want to control the tempo with all of the groupings and the different looks that they give you on defense. We wanted to basically make sure that we controlled the tempo of the football game. It was hard fought. It was a fun game to be around."
On the time out before the winning field goal:**
"I think they all knew. They pretty much know (that will happen). Even though the statistics don't say it in terms of icing the kicker, but I still think (a time out) puts a little bit of doubt. I think the statistics show that icing (when) a kicker, they actually make it more than they miss it. Most coaches are going to make that standard operating procedure."
On the play of Matt Ryan:
"I know he was well over 200 yards. In the operation of our offense, I thought that he did a very good job. What we were trying to get done in terms of how we were going to sequence our play calling and handle the crowd noise, I thought he did a very, very good job because it's a very loud atmosphere, as you guys know."
On Michael Turner: **
"I think Michael has been running the ball really effectively this season. I think a lot of it has to do, sometimes, with who you're playing. I think he's really committed himself in terms of what we're trying to do."