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Transcripts: Falcons vs. Raiders

Head coach Mike Smith

Opening statement:

"Our goal all week was to get through this game and get to our bye week 6-0, that was the mission. Obviously, we didn't want to make it as hard as we did. We made a lot of mistakes in the ball game, Offense, defense, special teams and coaching, but we were able to overcome all of that. We did some very uncharacteristic things in the first half. I was really pleased with the defense play in the second half with the string of punts, touchdown return for an interception and we were just worn out and did not play that last tying drive very well."

On Matt Bryant's kick at the end of the game:

"I said it many times: He's got ice water in his veins. We have an agreement that if they are going to ice you, we are going to kick the ball to get a practice. He did it even though the kick was blown dead really early. Got a shot at it, he made a great adjustment and he just knows how to kick those game winners. He is an key part of our football team and the success that we have had so far."

On the first half of the game:

"We three uncharacteristic plays. They undercut one route to Harry [Douglas], we didn't have control of the backside corner on the 1-yard line in terms of the coverage that they played, so it was very uncharacteristic. We are very fortunate. My hat's off to the Oakland Raiders football team and their coaching staff, they did a great job on having their guys prepared, they were humming today it was a hard fought game. It's good that we got some time off because we have a long list of guys that are banged up right now."

On the final drive:

"We wanted to get a chunk and they were not allowing us to do it so the coverage told us to check it down in which we did a nice job of checking down. We had two timeouts so we felt like we would have a chance to use the entire field at some point in time and we were able to do that two times, and the crucial completion was to Tony Gonzalez to set up the 55-yard field goal. I thought that we did a nice job. The guys that caught the balls on the sideline, they made sure that they didn't put it in the officials hands were he was not going sideways because if they were not gaining ground the clock would have continued to run. We had the two timeouts, so we felt like we could use the middle of the field"

On Asante Samuel's interception for a TD:

"That's what he's known for. He's known for intercepting the ball. He is a ballhawk and he is an athletic guy that can return it. He has great skills once the ball is in his hands. Not only does he understand how to jump routes and play the coverages but once he gets it in his hands he can do a lot of things. We just have to work on our celebration there and realize that we are going to have to go back out there on the field, try not to expend any energy there after the touchdown and I know that that is very difficult to do."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Opening Statement:

"To start off, it was a great win for us. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy but we did what we needed to do at the end of the game, heading into the bye week right where we needed to be."

On working on new things each week:

"I think, bottom line, we just need to keep winning. Certainly, we have to have the mindset that we need to improve and we do. I think everybody needs to take some time on the bye week and evaluate themselves and self-scout a little bit and try and find areas where we can get better. I think everybody will do that. But at this point in the NFL regular season it's all about getting wins and we have done a good job of that so far."

On playing to their full potential:

"I don't worry about that too much. I'm always of the opinion that we need to strive to play our best. I don't think we have done that the past couple of weeks but we have been good enough to win and at the end of the day that's what you need to do. I think it's going to be important for us this bye week to try and find ways to play our best and to look at ourselves and find ways to improve."

On Matt Bryant's field goal to win the game:

"He has been clutch, he really has been. He seems not to let anything affect him. He is really mentally tough, too. In those spots it's hard for kickers, but he knows how to get prepared, he knows how to calm himself down and he knows how to kick it through the pipes. He has been huge for us here. He has made a lot of game-winning kicks and clutch kicks for us through the years."

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