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Atlanta Falcons players talk about their win in New Orleans

Quotes from Atlanta Falcons players on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

"The biggest thing for us today 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 (3-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."
(on Julio Jones) "You can't say enough about what Julio (Jones) did today. Obviously he's been hurting the last couple of weeks and for him to gut it out and play the way he did today, 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."
(on chances of making playoffs) "It doesn't matter how you get there - you just have to get in. And we've done it all kinds of different ways before but it's no less sweet when you get it done. And that's why you work so hard in the offseason and that's why you put the time into training camp is to try and have opportunities late in the season just like this. I mean, we have a game at home and for us, if you win, you're in. Obviously this year has shaken out a lot different than any other year I've been a part of in our division. But even saying that – it doesn't matter. We are where we are, and we're excited about our chances."
(on defensive performance) "That was huge. Our defense played an unbelievable game, going against Drew Brees who's a great quarterback and capable of making plays at any time. But I'm so proud of the effort they gave and the way they executed out there. They were the reason we got it done today."
(on Jimmy Graham fumble) "It was a huge play, a timely play. And it's heads up too, to get the ball out in that situation. We've got guys on this entire team that don't flinch; regardless of what's being said of all the noise you might hear, we've got guys that don't worry about that. They go out there and they go out there and play hard."

"It was a great team win. All week I missed practice and our guys really prepared this week during practice and you saw that today and that's why we came out with a W."
(on 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 today for this game and for my teammates. I mean I missed last week's game and all this week in practice, but once it was game time I had to be out there.
(on playing today) "I didn't think I was going to go today. Before the game I ran around and felt pretty good, but I didn't feel 100 percent. On that first play (catch from Matt Ryan), when the ball's in the air, you have to go up there and get it. I don't feel anything – you've just got to go up there and catch the ball."

"We wanted to come out here and play well, but I didn't think we played as well as we can on offense today. We left a lot of points out there and missed some opportunities, making the game a lot harder than what it needed to be."
(on Julio Jones) "We're a much better team when he is out there. I mean he causes a lot of matchup problems for other teams when he's on the field. And he gave us a big lift by going today and going up there and making a big play on the first play of the game."
"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 today. I mean they all went out there and made plays and got some turnovers….that helped us out a lot."

(on 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 today. You have to show it each and every week and for the last two weeks

"We knew what was on the line today so we went out there and played with no regrets. And that's what we all did – offense, defense, special teams, coaches. We've got to go into this week like any other week. All season we've had highs and lows and we've got the chance now to go to the playoffs."
(on Jimmy Graham fumble) "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."

(on Jimmy Graham fumble) "We knew that one play was under review ... but as a defense we can't worry about what the call was. As players we have to go out there and let the officials officiate. All I did was do my best to keep him (Graham) out of the end zone, and then Kemal (Ishmael) came in and made a great play on the ball.
"That play basically summarizes this game. I mean he (Ishmael) never gives up on a play and you saw that right there."
(on chance at playoffs) "I mean 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."

(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."
"That's my job to go out there and put it between the uprights. All I try to do is to do my job and hope everything works out. Of course we tried to score touchdowns instead of field goals early in the game, but we were able to put some points on the board against them."

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