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Transcripts: Falcons at Lions

Head coach Mike SmithOpening statement:"Our No. 1 goal when we came up here was come up here and get our 13th win and we got that accomplished. Really liked the start, it was a very good start in the first half. Built up a 21-6 lead. Kind of started slow and didn't play the type of football that we'd like to there in the third quarter. Detroit made some plays but I think it really says a lot about what I think our football team is about. We were able to battle back in all three phases. We all contributed and we were able to get the result that we wanted. With that, I'll open it up for questions."

On QB Matt Ryan's poise when the Lions made a 21-16 comeback: "Oh it's very key that we didn't play very well there in the third quarter. Didn't earn a first down. We weren't able to slow them down and Matt made some big time throws in that drive and that's what Matt's done for us all season long."

On the success of the short passing game: "Yes, it was. We were able to get the screen game going. We felt like we had to do some different things to slow down their pass rush. That's a very good football team. Don't be deceived by their record. That's a very good football team and eight of their 10 losses were by one score. They played some really good football. That's a very good football team and I want to say congratulations to Calvin Johnson in breaking the single-season record. He is a heck of a wide receiver. He's a guy that's had one heck of a season thus far in the game and I'd like to send my congratulations to him."

On the level of concern coming off of an emotional win last week: "Well I thought we responded well especially in the first 30 minutes. Gave up way too may yards defensively. Only gave up 16 points and then we gave up the safety. As we've always said it's all about points. Some of those yards and what we call 'empty yards,' like empty calories. Was not concerned, I knew our guys were going to be prepared and ready to go. We had a very good week of practice. And we were as a staff and as a team I think that we were well prepared. Played a very good first half and we were able to come back there in the fourth quarter."

Quarterback Matt RyanOn the difference with this team compared to last year:"You know, I think we're definitely a different football team than we've been the past couple of years. Right now I think our confidence is high and our experience in the past, both good and bad, I think has helped us get to the point we're at. I think the key is to continue to keep the focus where it's been and keep trying to play our best football moving forward."

On continuing momentum after a 34-0 win last week over the Giants:"Absolutely. You know, I think it's important to be consistent in this League. I think the teams that can go out there and play their best week in and week out are going to be playing in January. I think, you know, coming up here it's a good Detroit football team. I mean, I think their defense and their offense are capable of winning a lot of games. They've been in a lot of tight games this year. They just haven't found ways to win. We knew coming into it it was going to be a battle and we needed to play and I thought we did that."

On WR Roddy White's big day:"You know, you never know. In our offense, I feel like it could be any one of those three guys to step up and make the plays week in and week out. I thought Roddy in the first half had some unbelievable plays for us, some explosives, and I'm fortunate to have all those guys around me."

On his 16-yard scramble: "Yeah, you know what, it's one of those situations where you get all the linebackers' backs turned and running with our guys. Obviously, they've got a good pass rush so just finding a lane and going felt like the best play at the time. It was crucial for us. We got back into a third and makeable and were able to convert with Tony (Gonzalez) on an out route."

On the first drive of the fourth quarter:"You know what, we talked about it. The third quarter, Detroit had the momentum and, you know, some games just shake out like that. There's eb and flow. We talked at that time. Our defense did a great job holding them to three points there in the tight red zone and that's the time you need to step up and you need to take the game over. I thought we did a great job of it on that drive in the fourth quarter. Converted a couple of third downs, kept it going and we were able to punch it in. That was a huge momentum changer."

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