Strong safety William Moore retained the starting job even though Erik Coleman was active for the game.
Moore turned in a couple of key plays, one an interception in the third quarter to stop a promising San Francisco drive.
“It was just a great call and scheme that we had,” Moore said. “Overall, we were just baiting the quarterback.”
In the fourth quarter, he came on a delayed blitz, got a sack and forced quarterback Alex Smith into an intentional grounding penalty.
“I was just getting an opportunity to play a little faster and I’m trying to show them what I can do,” said Moore, who finished with four tackles.
The Falcons held San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith to a 65.6 quarterback rating.
“The effort of the team was outstanding. We fought on each side of the ball, offense, defense and special teams,” Moore said. “We are going to make mistakes, but we have to overcome those.”
Coleman suffered a strained medial collateral ligament in the season opener against Pittsburgh and has missed the last two games.
“It’s a great situation, but it’s a tough circumstance,” Moore said. “You don’t want anybody to go down. I feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do in the NFL; step in when your number is called. I’m gaining trust from the coaches and support from my teammates.”
Entering the 2010 season, Coleman had started 31 of 32 games with the Falcons. In 2008, he started at free safety. Last season, he was moved over to strong safety.
In 2008, Coleman had a career-high 127 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Last season, Coleman broke his career-high with 139 tackles.
He started his career with the New York Jets after being selected in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. He was signed by the Falcons as a free agent on March 1, 2008.
Moore was the team’s second round pick in the 2009 draft. He missed most of last season with hamstring and knee injuries. He later battled a groin injury over the offseason.
“I used last year as motivation to stay on the field and show what I can do,” Moore said.