Postgame quotes from the Falcons following their 34-31 win over the Seahawks on Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field.
Head Coach Dan Quinn
(Thoughts on the game…) "What an absolute team win from the guys tonight. To play in this environment with the crowd tonight was going to be tough. Those were competitive, tough teams, we were going to battle for it in the biggest way. We talked about that connection between offensive and defense and special teams, almost like a relay team, passing the baton to the next group, to go after it again. Even talking to the staff yesterday morning, I had a sense that this game was going to come down to the ball. So for us to be plus two in the turnover margin was a factor. We also talked about two minute and four minute at the end of the half. This team has been outstanding through the years in those two phases. That was a big part of what they (Seattle) did so well and that was going to be a challenge for us. It was tough in spots for a number of the guys. It was hard-fought all the way to the end as we expected."
(How important were the fourth quarter runs to help you win the game…) "The o-line didn't quite execute as well as we had hoped in the run game. I was especially proud for Terron (Ward). I thought he made some good runs at the end of the game. He had some really tough, hard yards, to convert some first downs. I thought on third down was where the unit really took shape tonight with their ability to convert on third down. We were not in a lot of long third downs. That was a big part of it. That was a real factor tonight."
(How proud are you that the guys were able to hold on…) "We ended up kicking the field goal at the end of the game, we wanted to go up two scores. We certainly weren't expecting them to go down the field and score. To opt to battle for it at the end, those are moments you gain from. So for the defense to battle there and make some stops at the end was big. Also I thought the field goal block team, we didn't get the block on the play but that group has been encouraging and pushing and going for it a bunch. Although they didn't block, they did get some pressure."
(How big was the conversion of the third and six by Jones…) "You have to be able at times to take your shots. When the moments come up we have such regard and respect for Julio. That's why we took the shot down in the end zone earlier. There were a number of third down wins tonight. Different guys got involved. The third down for us offensively, we had a big emphasis. We have had that for the last few weeks. It's good to see the hard work we're putting in, in that area is paying off. We have added work to our practice. We have had work during the week in that area and that work is coming through."
(How important for the division race was it to win tonight…)"We know how tough our division is. That was the furthest thing from our mind tonight. We were absolutely 100% on the fight that we were in. We've got another one ahead this week, so we'll head back home and start getting ready."
(Thoughts on your team getting pressure on Russell Wilson tonight…) "We knew that the d-line was going to have to chase. Sometimes we had a spy for him and he still outran that player. We knew that we were going to have to keep rushing, keep going aggressive. We dressed a number of d-lineman and we played them all. We knew that was going to be a factor. He was going to scramble to extend plays and to run. The scrambles when your going against him aren't just run plays. They are extended, he is outside the tackle box to extend the passing game. The defensive backs did an excellent job tonight in limiting the explosive plays. For sure it was a big point of emphasis for us tonight. Those guys handled that part really well."
Quarterback Matt Ryan
(On why the offense stuck with the run…)"That's one of the things going against this defense, the way they play eight-man spacing in the box the entire game, you have to stay disciplined with it. You've got to keep running the ball, and you've got to execute at a high level on every snap when you do it, because if you don't, you're going to have some tackles for losses. But when you do, there's opportunities to get behind their front set and get into the secondary, and I thought our guys did a good job with that in the second half."
(On if there was every any doubt that Atlanta would win the game…) (Laughs) "You know what? You never know how they're going to shake out. But we battled for four quarters, which was good, made enough plays to get it done in an environment that's tough to come out and win in."
(On what he saw on the third down play to Julio Jones that helped the team score and break the game open a little bit…)"Yeah, we got a lot of man to man coverage on third down tonight. Really good call at the time by Sark [Steve Sarkisian]. We had a good concept going on the left. We knew that if we had one on one, we had an opportunity to throw it down the field to Julio. Tried to hold the safety in the middle of the field and keep him in that spot, so that it would be just Julio and the corner on an island and Julio made a great play."
(On what goes through his mind when you watch Russell Wilson do Russell Wilson things and his thoughts right before Blair Walsh's field goal attempt…)"Yeah, he is a tough competitor to go against. He makes some unbelievable plays. His ability to extend plays, keep plays alive…you know, you hate going against it, but it's impressive to see. I thought our defense played tough the entire night. He made some unbelievable plays. Then right before the field goal, you never know. You never know if they are going to go or not go in and obviously you are hoping that it doesn't go in and that's kind of what I was thinking at the time."
(On if there was a point down the stretch where he was thinking about this game not going his way, like many others this season…)"At that time, you say, 'OK, if it goes in, we go to overtime,' and to me, I try (On if there was a point if he was thinking, 'Oh, no'…) "Well, at that time , you're thinking, 'Well, if it goes in, we've got to go to overtime.' To me, I try not to let those things creep in. You can ask guys on the sideline, I'm always thinking situationally, so what is going to happen if they do this, if we do that. So you try not to let those things creep in and think about it and again, I've played long enough to know that you have no idea how things are going to shake out."
(On the one handed touchdown by Sanu…) "Yeah, I didn't see the catch but I saw it on the screen after. It was a great catch by Mo. I see it all the time in practice though. Mo has got some unbelievable hands."
(On if the Levine Toilolo touchdown was representative of that…)"Yeah for sure. That was huge. Great call by Sark [Steve Sarkisian] in that situation. Great job by Levine kind of sifting back, getting into the backside of the defense there, with some action gone to the right. That was critical for us at a huge time of the game to come up with a touchdown."
Take a look at the Atlanta Falcons players you can expect to see when the Seattle Seahawks take the field in Week 11 at CenturyLink Field.
Cornerback Desmond Trufant
(On the challenge of containing Wilson when he escapes the pocket...) "It's difficult. It's kind of like you have to play two plays. You start the first play, then he starts scrambling and the plays are 8, 10, 12 seconds, so it is definitely difficult. D-line did a good job getting some pressure, getting some sacks, getting the ball out."
(On their ability to limit the Seahawks in explosive plays…)"We knew that they took a lot of shots, had a lot of deep routes so we were aware of that. D-line did great job at getting pressure. In the back end we did a good job of staying on top. We definitely try to limit the big plays as much as we can."
(On getting the win in front of his hometown crowd…) "It's big. I probably had about 25, 30 people here watching me play. I know they were excited. I'm excited. It's always good to come home and play good, get a win, so I'm happy."
Defensive End Adrian Clayborn
(On getting a crucial win on the road in a tough atmosphere…) "It was fun out there. We knew it was going to be dogfight. Credit to them, they took it all the way to the end. They fought back and fought back. It was a hard battle, I'm tired right now."
(On his team and their opportunity at this point in the season…)"I think we are moving in the right direction. We keep proving that we can finish games and we can beat guys. We just have to take the momentum and keep rolling with it."
(On the challenge of Russell Wilson…)"Oh my god, he is the worst to get down. He's a great quarterback and he's elusive and fast so it's hard to bring him down. It's beyond frustrating. He's great."
Tight End Levine Toilolo
(On his touchdown reception…) "Play actions. There's a lot of movement, it's a tough one for the defense, a lot of moving parts. I was able to sneak out the back door, Matt had a great ball and I was able to come down with it. That play is always a long-developing play and the whole time you are hoping it will get down. With a safety like Earl Thomas back there, he's covering ground."
(On the effectiveness of their running game without Freeman…) "I think we did well. We have a stable of backs. We have Free, Tifo, Ward – he doesn't get as much recognition. He's someone that I know as a teammate is always ready."
Defensive End Takkarist McKinley
(On the strip, sack, fumble recovery for a touchdown…)"We got points off of it. Coach – all he preaches is 'ball is everything."
(On the challenge of Russell Wilson…)"That dude is fast. We preached all week that we have to keep him in the pocket and contain, but we understand that he watches film, as well. He's excellent at making plays, escaping the pocket, and improvising."
(On their opportunity with the end of the season looming near…)"One game at a time. I am just trying to be better at practice each week, and whomever we face, just focus on them. We have to stay consistent. We got two good wins, but like I said, we have to keep building off of this."
Center Alex Mack
(On the game being one of the most entertaining Monday Night Game of the season and how important it was to close out the game...) "Definitely a nail biter at the end there. Every game is super important. It's a really tight race, so you need to take it one game at a time. For us to put together in each phase of the game, and put a good performance in, because we needed every inch."
The Seahawks fall short 34-31 against the Falcons in Week 11 at CenturyLink Field.