What They Said: Falcons at Saints

Falcons head coach Mike Smith's evaluation of the Week 16 win: "I was really proud of the way our football team came out and performed. They did an outstanding job. Preparation was very good throughout the week. I thought that the coaching staff, offensive, defensive and special teams, did a very good job preparing these guys. We went out and we executed. We did a very good job of putting pressure on the quarterback, probably the best that we have done all season. We had five sacks, two recovered fumbles, and the two picks (interceptions)."

Falcons QB Matt Ryan on keys to the 30-14 win: "The biggest thing for us was converting on third down. That was huge to keep drives moving. I think the most important one was the throw to Julio (Jones) before the end of the first half that got us down to the (three-yard line), but we made a lot of big plays that resulted in touchdowns at the end of the game and that was the difference."

Ryan on Julio Jones playing in the game: "You can't say enough about what Julio (Jones) did. Obviously he's been hurting the last couple of weeks and for him to gut it out and play the way he did, I think that speaks volumes about his great toughness but also showcases what a stud he is. When he's out there, he's making plays that a lot of other people aren't capable of making. So, obviously when he's on the field, that's a big deal for us."

Falcons WR Julio Jones on the Saints defense: "They played us a lot of man-to-man, and I think we exposed them, and that's why we made plays. I had to be out there for this game and for my teammates. I missed last week's game and all this week in practice, but once it was game time I had to be out there." 

Falcons WR Roddy White describing his team's effort in Week 16: "We had a good game plan, and we came in knowing what we had to do. We knew we had to go out there and set the tempo early and wear them down, and that's what we did. I still felt we didn't score enough points, but our defense played great. They all went out there and made plays and got some turnovers. That helped us out a lot."

Falcons WR Devin Hester talking about his team's defense: "The ranking that we have in the NFL doesn't fit our defense. If they put their mind to it and are confident, you'll see the results you saw out there Sunday. You have to show it each and every week and for the last two weeks."

Falcons K Matt Bryant on winning in New Orleans: "To come in here and beat them – I mean the last time we did that was 2010 – and I think before that, it was a very long time when we got the win. Hopefully we can take this feeling into next week."

Falcons S Kemal Ishmael on forcing the fumble against Jimmy Graham: "It was an effort play. I felt it came out clean on the strip, when it popped out. Jimmy Graham is a big guy. Once he caught the ball it was all about effort, and all I tried to do was hold him up and get the ball out."

Falcons CB Robert McClain on playoff implications: "It's amazing. Next week, we're playing one game to get into the dance (playoffs). You can't ask for anything better than that, and anytime you have a chance like that you have to be prepared and give it your all. We came into this game knowing it was like a playoff game. I mean, you lose and you're out. For us, the playoffs are already starting. For us, it's win or go home, basically."

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