The talk in the locker room after Sunday's win was of Matt Bryant being nearly automatic, Julio Jones' second big game in a row and the improved play of the offensive line. The offense performed brilliantly at times, taking Seattle's loud and notorious home crowd out of the game at critical points, especially in the first half.
Matt Ryan was pleased with how well his offensive line held up in the first half, protecting him in the pocket and getting the running game going early: "That was difficult (playing in Seattle). It's a loud place to come play. I thought on our first series we did a great job of executing. Even in that four-minute situation we were in no huddle and did a great job of eating some clock and getting first downs. We'd have liked to made that last third-down conversions and put the game away. I thought we did a good job handling the environment." *
Right tackle Tyson Clabo said Seattle responded in the second half by committing to stop the run, led by Michael Turner. The pressure, Clabo said, was combated at times by Ryan calling for the no huddle offense: "They were getting their safeties in the run game a lot. It seemed like they were just flipping a coin, rotating them down strong, rotating them weak (side), bringing them off the edge. It's tough to scheme for because you don't know where it's going to be. The no huddle helped us a lot because Matt could see them and we could go from there." *
Clabo was happy with his entire line's performance after struggling for a few weeks to begin the season and having to hear and be asked about it persistently. The Pro Bowl tackle felt it was a benchmark game for the O-line, on the road and getting the victory: "It's been difficult. We haven't really played up to our standard and we all know that. We have high expectations for ourselves. To come in here with the noise the way it was and to do that, it was an accomplishment." *
Kicker Matt Bryant is possibly as hot as any kicker in the league. He's currently on a 7-for-7 streak this year and his consecutive field goals made streak dates back 22 games. He said the Seattle missed 61-yarder is a makeable kick, but it's a tough one because of the expectations: "You have to approach every kick, whether I'm kicking an extra point or a 50-yarder, I'm kicking the same way. Sometimes those kicks like that 61-yarder — nobody expects for you to make it so you tend to be a little bit looser. I don't know what he did on the kick. He kind of hooked it a little bit." *
Head coach Mike Smith said the Falcons planned to go to rookie Julio Jones to open their second half possession. They hit it for 45 yards and it appeared the Falcons offense was once again clicking: "He had the big play. We knew coming out at halftime we were going to take a shot and get the ball in his hands. He was able to come through and make a great catch, but unfortunately we only got three points out of it. It would have maybe changed the whole complexion of the ball game if we could've taken it in and got seven." *
Ryan knew Jones would be a positive matchup against Seattle because of his physical play. Although he didn't find the endzone Sunday, he was a major part of the offense's ability to control the clock and sustain drives: "He hits a lot of single coverage and a lot of press coverage. Julio is a big, strong physical guy that can get open against press coverage. I thought he did a great job for us today."