Falcons coach Mike Smith did not make any excuses for the teams poor showing against the Green Bay Packers.
Here’s what he had to say:
OPENING STATEMENT: Obviously, it’s extremely hard in this league to get the outcome that you want when we play the type of football that we played today. It was very uncharacteristic in terms of turnovers, proteching the football and winning third down on defense. It was a tough night for our football team. We had way too many mistakes. We ran into a real hot quarterback, playing at a high level. We obviously had a real tough time stopping them. Their offense did a very good job. Then when you turned the offense over four times and have five sacks, it’s not going to be pretty. We thought that the first quarter of the game went well. As we got into the second quarter it started to kind of go away from us. We had an opportunity ,in the third quarter on third down and 13 with them backed up, and we didn’t get a stop. We couldn’t spin the momentum. Again my hats off to them. They are moving on. We’ll be a better team and learn from this experience. Everyday, if your win or lose, it’s a learning experience. This is something that we will learn from. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.
ON THE INTERCEPTIONS RIGHT AT THE END OF THE HALF: “That was a tough play. We were right at the edge of a long field goal attempt. . . We wanted to try to get it in five more yards for the range that we had set for our field goal kicker. It was a throw where the guy jumped the route and ended up really turning the tide right before the half. . . . then it really started to snowball from that point.”
(DID GET THIS QUESTION): Again, I would not Mark. There were numerous opportunities to get the guy on the ground. That’s a very good quarterback, a very good offense. Our intent was to get him on the ground. We had some free runners, but we didn’t convert. I would have never have imagined that happening. It was not very characteristic of the way that we want to play football. That was not the way we played football all season long.
ON THE PLAY OF THE SECONDARY: “Well, we gave up way too many yards obviously. Touchdown passes. We had some penalties that hurt us. Until I watch the tape it’s going to be really difficult . . . but obviously when you give up the number of points and the passing yardage that we gave up today, we didn’t play our best game. That’s very obvious. I don’t know if we tackled as cleanly as we needed to. It was a very discouraging evening for our football team. For our organization, but we will come back from it. I can assure you of that.
DID YOU ALL MISS BRIAN WILLIAMS: “Brian Williams is our starting nickel back. When a guy is hurt, the next guy has to come in and make the plays. You want to have all of our players out there if possible. He wasn’t there. I thought that Chris did some nice things when they were out there tonight. Until I watch the tape, I’m not going to make any judgments on how individuals played.”
ON WHAT THEY DID WELL: I think we did a pretty good job stopping the run. We did a pretty good job this week preparing for the run. They used the same game plan they had the last time we played them. They made the plays when they had to make them and we didn’t. That’s what happened in the ball game. They were the better team in the ball game tonight.
WAS RODGERS BETTER THAN LAST TIME? “Yes he was. Aaron Rodgers was better than he was the last time we played them and we weren’t as good.
ON WEEMS KICKOFF RETURN: “It was a big play by Eric and our special teams. Then we got put back out there on the field defensively and we didn’t get a stop. It was one of those 80-yard drives . . . we didn’t get it stopped. You can’t go out there and play that many snaps in a football game and think that you are going to be stronger and you’re gong to win the fourth quarter.
ON RYAN’S INTERCEPTIONS: “I’m not going to comment on bad throw, bad decision until I’ve had the opportunity to really watch the tape and study what the coverage was. I think I know what it was, but until I watch the tape I’m going to hold onto any type of judgment.”
THE FOURTH AND ONE ON THE FIRST TD DRIVE: “Our philosophy this season on fourth down, especially in the red zone, we feel we have a pretty good chance to make it statistically. We did that and it ended up turning into a touchdown down instead of a field goal. We you are facing an impressive offense like that you’ve got to score touchdowns. You can’t get into a field goal kicking contest because that offense right now is playing very effectively.”
ON HIS POST GAME SPEECH TO THE TEAM: “Generally speaking, I know they are disappointed. I’m disappointed. We didn’t like the way the game went and that we would learn from it. The important thing is that we learn from what took place. I also told them that they need to realize that even with as bad as they feel right now, they have to remember that there is a whole body of work that we put out there this year and we can’t forget that either.”
WAS THE WEATHER THIS WEEK A FACTOR: “No excuses. We’re not going to make any excuses. I thought our preparation was good. All week, when we came to practice we were focused. We just did not play Atlanta Falcons football. The way the Atlanta Falcons have played all season long. I think the statistical bear that out from the score on the scoreboard to what happened to us offensively and defensively.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter