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What They Said: Falcons at Saints

    • The Falcons were 50 percent in third down situations in the game, but they failed to convert two third-and-1 opportunities. Falcons head coach Mike Smith said those are plays they should make, especially since the odds are in the favor of the offense: "Well, we had two third and ones: one we tried to run and one we tried to throw it. We are not getting the surge that we need to on the run plays. We've got to be able to move the line of scrimmage on those third down and one situations. Those are to the advantage of the offense, and we're not getting that done right now. We didn't get that done today."
    • In the competitive world of football no one likes to lose, certainly not to a rival like the Falcons have in the Saints. Sunday's loss also ended Atlanta's run at an unbeaten season, but all that good work early in the season means loses later on are easy to handle. Matt Ryan said the loss notwithstanding, things are still looking good for the Falcons: "You want to win every game you go into. And then we can worry about all of the things that go along with that. But we understand moving forward we're still in a very good spot. And we've got a lot of football in front of us. We just need to be playing our best football moving forward."
    • The Falcons haven't lost back-to-back games under Smith very often and Roddy White said after the game that won't start happening now. He anticipates a return to winning ways and is already anxious for a rematch with the Saints in a few weeks: "We've got to go back and work hard again. We can't play next week and experience back-to-back losses. We've got to get our focus back again. It's not like they came out here and won a game today. I think we kind of gave it to them. It's not nothing they did; it was what we did. But we play them in three weeks and we'll be ready in the (Georgia) Dome for them then."
    • Tony Gonzalez scored two touchdowns on the day and the first was historic. It was his 100th career receiving TD, making him one of eight players to achieve that feat. He's the first tight end in league history to have done it: "It was great. Of course I'd rather have it come in a victory. But you have to give Matt (Ryan) credit when he waited for me to get open and delivered the ball."
  • The Falcons do hope to return to New Orleans this season, but only at the end of the year. A trip back would mean they're Super Bowl bound and loses like Sunday's can only help them get better, said Todd McClure: "It would be great to come back here (in February for Super Bowl XLVII). I mean that's every team's goal at the start of the season. We still have a long way to go. We're a real good football team. We'd rather lose now than lose in January, so we've got to learn from these mistakes and be ready to go."
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