What the Falcons had to say after beating the Panthers 

Here’s what the Falcons had to say after they beat the Panthers Sunday and advanced to the playoffs: 

RICARDO ALLEN, free safety

On reaching the playoffs: “It doesn’t even matter how the season went last year. It’s just this year. You are grinding. You do all of this work. You play all these weeks. You are trying to get to the big show. You want to give yourselves a chance. I’m not saying that it’s automatic that we make it to the big show. But we gave ourselves a chance to keep going.” 

On the defense’s play against Carolina: “We always say on the defensive side, we don’t take nothing around from our offense. We are not battling with them, but we want people to know this is a defensive team too. This is a three-headed monster. You have to fight our offense, defense and special teams. You not only have to play against Julio (Jones) and Matt (Ryan). You have to worry about us also.” 

On stopping Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey: “We keep it on our linebackers all night. They asked for a challenge to get them man-to-man and our linebackers did it. They made the plays and we shut them down. Every time they got the ball to (McCaffrey), they were right there for him.” 

On the only NFC team to return to the playoffs: “We are not worried about anybody else. We are worried about ourselves.” 

On the Rams: “I’m going to enjoy this first before I start worrying about them. I know they’ve got a lot of good players.” 

 ALEX MACK, center 

On making it back to the playoffs: “It’s really special. It’s not easy to make it back to the playoffs. We had to grind it out throughout the whole season to get a chance to be on the big stage once again in the postseason is great for the program.”

On playing on his calf injury: “I was really happy to be out there playing with my teammates. I’m glad that we were able to put together a good team win and that we’ll be playing again.”

On the play of the offense: “We’d love to score touchdowns instead of field goals, but it was a team win. The defense did a great job of stopping them. Getting turnovers and actually getting points, that’s big.”

On the Rams: “They are really talented. It’s going to be a really tough game. They have a great offense and they are really talented on defense. Aaron Donald is a really good (defensive) tackle. He’s just one part of a really talented front. We are going to have a lot of work ahead of us.”

KEANU NEAL, safety 

On how he felt the defense performed: “We played really well. That starts at practice as well as taking advantage of each day. Once you get to the game, it gets easy. Continuing to work in practice was huge for us.”

On whether he could sense things were right: “Yeah, I felt that. But the biggest thing for us is we didn’t fall into complacency. We didn’t just get comfortable. We kept fighting and kept playing. That was huge for us.”

On his first career interception: “It was cool. Debo [Deion Jones] did a great job of staying under on the hook getting the ball tipped up, and I was able to make the play. It was cool to get the first one out of the way.”

On how it felt to win going into the playoffs: “It felt good. We’re in control of our own destiny. We’re placing it in our hands. That was a big thing for us, so I’m glad we got the W.”

JULIO JONES, wide receiver 

On the win: “We did what we had to do to get the win today.” 

On the Mike Adams hit:  “I’m good, though Nothing is broke. Nothing is pulled. I’m ready to go.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Dimitroff ready to move up for right player 
Dimitroff ready to move up for right player 

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn tinkered with the team’s digital draft board on Thursday. The NFL Draft is less than a week away and final preparations are being made. Dimitroff wouldn’t reveal the rankings or how much a player was shifted up or down on the ordered list.  The Falcons currently hold the...
Falcons schedule: Game-by-game breakdown
Falcons schedule: Game-by-game breakdown

The Falcons’ 2018 schedule will be released at 8 p.m. Until the dates are set tonight, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter breaks down each opponent. Return later for the complete schedule. at New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs,...
Falcons ‘do not anticipate’ single-game ticket sales
Falcons ‘do not anticipate’ single-game ticket sales

The NFL will announce its 2018 schedule Thursday night, an occasion that might make some Falcons fans wonder about ticket availability.  Here’s the answer from the team: Yes on season tickets. No on single-game tickets.  “We do have a select number of season tickets available in varying categories, including club (seats)...
Godfather: Falcons held private workout for Fort Hays State’s Nathan Shepherd
Godfather: Falcons held private workout for Fort Hays State’s Nathan Shepherd

The Falcons’ top personnel men and coaches went to Hays, Kansas to hold a private workout for defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd.  “Their whole group went up to Fort Hayes State to work out Nathan Shepherd is what they did,” said “Godfather” Gil Brandt, a NFL analyst for Sirius XM NFL radio, on Wednesday.  &ldquo...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons’ 2018 draft board is set 
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons’ 2018 draft board is set 

In the 52nd episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, we discuss the Falcons’ draft board. The Falcons have the 26th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft, which is set for April 26 through 28 in Arlington, Texas. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has traded up in the first round of four of his 10 drafts since joining the team in 2008...
More Stories