THE BRANCH – The Falcons’ locker room was quite festive after the 31-17 thumping of the Washington Redskins.
Here’s what some of the players had to say:
DON’T RELAX: Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton thought the defense relaxed after the Falcons got that 24-3 lead against the Redskins.
“We have to keep the same intensity,” Lofton said. “They came out and played ball. We just have to come out and pick
up the intensity. We came out relaxed coming out of the first half. We just have to continue to play hard.”
STOPPING THE STREAK: Linebacker Mike Peterson and Lofton were credited with the key fourth-and-1 stop of Mike Sellers.
Part of the team’s motivation was that they didn’t want a three-game losing streak.
“We definitely didn’t want to lose three games in this league,” Peterson said.
The defense still wants to put together an entire game.
“We are getting ready to enter the third quarter of the season,” Peterson said. ”We had a little good and a little bad. You earn everything you get in this league. We are 5-3 and we know that we can get better.“
SUSTAINING DRIVES: After opening with a touchdown drive for the third week in a row, the offense got bogged down again.
“It’s just a little bit of inconsistency,” Pro Bowler Roddy White said. “Getting penalties and stuff like that is hurting us.”
The biggest was a Tyson Clabo holding call that wiped away a 37-yard run by Michael Turner. He would have rushed for 203 yards with that run.
SURVIVING HAYNESWORTH: Left guard Justin Blalock had to scuffle with Washington’s Albert Haynesworth for most of the day.
“He’s a great player,” Blalock said. “Their defense is full of great players. No one over there is lacking.”
SVITEK STEPPED IN FOR BAKER: Left tackle Sam Baker left the game after a quarter. He was listed on the injury report with a (left) ankle injury. Will Svitek replaced Baker at the start of the second quarter.
“When you are swing tackle, you have to be ready, no matter what,” Svitek said. “You have to prepare yourself like you are a starter. It was good to get out there and play football again.”
DAHL DAILING IN: Right guard Harvey Dahl thinks having the running game rolling also helps the linemen in pass protection.
“It slows them down in the pass rush,” Dahl said. “It was good to play our style of football.”
He’s has some thoughts on being 5-3 at the halfway mark.
“I think it’s maybe not exactly where we need to be, but it’s positive,” Dahl said. “There is a lot to build on. . . We are not in any bad position. We are in a good position and we just have to finish out the season.”