Falcons’ Dee Alford on his interception: ‘Sealed the deal’

Here’s what the Falcons had to say after the 23-20 win over the Browns on Sunday:

Lorenzo Carter, outside linebacker

On players stepping up: “We’ve got some dogs. We’re deep. It’s a team. We don’t have big superstars.”

On the red-zone defense: “We just have the right guys, the right group of guys. Nobody is going to fold. Nobody is going to blink. When they get down there, we know what we’ve got to do. We can’t concede points. I think that’s one thing that we’ve got. We’ve got some dogs. I love it.”

On the defense: “We don’t want to give up yards regardless. Especially when they get down in the red zone where it matters. Where points matter. It’s great for us to get points off the board. Those are four-point plays, so if we get those, keep them out of the end zone.”

ExploreDefense steps up as Falcons pull out victory over Browns

Dee Alford, cornerback

On the interception: “It was a play. We were in Cover-2. I had to play the dagger. Unfortunately, they didn’t run the dagger route. They ran a seam route. I was able to speed up, turn around and get my head back to the quarterback and make a play on the ball, and I did. Sealed the deal.”

On the defense closing out the game: “That’s what we want to do every game, every week. Create takeaways. Takeaways win ballgames. As a secondary, that’s our main goal going into the game. Create takeaways, whether if it’s fumbles or interceptions.”

On bouncing back after they made a play on him earlier in the game: “Next-play mentality. Everyone in the secondary has a next-play mentality. No one is perfect. Everyone gets caught on. Just having that mindset to help you make the next play that comes your way.”

Caleb Huntley, running back

On his mindset when he went into the game: “When I went in the first play, I already had that chip on my shoulder to do whatever I need to do to get the team on the right foot, because like I said before, we were kind of stifled, but once I got in there I was like, ‘OK, let’s go.’ We’ve got to do this, we’ve got to get this done, and after those couple of runs, I just got happy and stayed with it.”

On the offensive line: “Oh, man, they were blowing them boys off the ball. I was like, Man, I can go either way with this one. There was just a whole lot of space, and I took advantage of that.”

On when he knew he would be active for Sunday’s game: “I knew yesterday, for sure. Coach (Arthur Smith) called me. I was in Atlanta in my Airbnb, because I knew we had a walkthrough yesterday, so I was just out here because it made sense instead of being on the Northside and making that commute.”

On his mother’s reaction to him playing: “She was so excited. I’ve just been through a lot growing up, and this moment seemed like it would be forever, but you know it was finally here, so I took advantage of it.”

On how the running back group is jelling: “(We are) jelling perfectly. We all come in every day and put our best foot forward. We have a great coach behind who critiques us on little things to, you know, make us be a good group.”

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Chris Lindstrom, offensive guard

On the team rushing for 202 yards: “It takes all 11 from the receivers to the backs, to the tight ends and also up front. It’s just a great team effort to go out there and be that efficient line.”

On rushing the ball 10 times on one drive: “It’s a great feeling, just staying on track of the downs, those guys were running hard, and like I said, it takes all 11, and there was belief in what we do, and I think that showed.”

On the reaction inside the huddle to one run play called after another: “Yeah, for sure, and I think we knew, I forget what the score was at the time, but we knew that we had to go down and put points on the board and just really there was belief in the huddle, that as soon as you start stacking those it’s easier and you can see it more, but every single guy had faith in what we were doing and came out and really attacked it.”

Tyler Allgeier, running back

On the Falcons’ offense rushing for more than 200 yards: “I just thought we all just fed off each other. I think that’s the biggest thing. Obviously, everyone wants to touch the rock, everyone wants to score, but I think a group collectively, as long as we got that dub and we did. You just said it. We rushed for 200 some yards or whatever, so I think that’s the big thing in our room.”

On whether the Falcons fed off the amount of attention the Browns’ rushing attack gained going into Sunday: “I would say, yeah, we fed off of it, but we just got to do what we do. Stats are whatever. We just need to do what we do and play all-11 football.”

On RB Caleb Huntley’s performance: “I just think, like I said earlier, we just feed off of each other. He ended up getting a touchdown. All the running backs are over here hype as hell for him. I think that’s what shows for our group. If someone has individual success, we are just hyped up for them.”

Kyle Pitts, tight end

On the team’s success in the run game: “It’s a group effort. We’ve been trying to establish the line of scrimmage, and that’s just something we’ve been working on, and we came out here and showed it today.”

On pulling out a win in a close game: “We knew it was going to be a four-quarter fight. We had that mindset all week, which it is every week. Just go out there and keep fighting until the end. (Younghoe) Koo put it through, and we got the win.”

On what it says about the defense to close out the game in consecutive weeks: “I mean, we all work together. The offense helps the defense, defense helps the offense, special teams, it all correlates. For all of us to put together a complete game, I feel like it was a good job.”

Mykal Walker, inside linebacker

On the defense closing out games in back-to-back weeks: “Oh, man, that’s huge. I mean, just going off on my past history being here and just seeing the defense come together at the end of those games. I’ve been a part of really close games that didn’t go our way. I mean, it’s huge, these last few weeks just watching this team grow and bend but never break.”

On what it’s like having tight finishes in the first four games of the season: “I mean, it’s just our leaders on the field keeping everyone composed. Going back and forth down the sideline, letting everyone know we got this, stay in it, stay locked in. We always have the same defense, we got to win, no matter what it looks like on defense, we got to win.”

On the challenges of stopping Cleveland’s run game: “Let me tell you, them boys are good over there. They’ve got a great line, great running back; I mean, it was a challenge. I was excited for it, I think the guys stepped up when it mattered.”

Casey Hayward, cornerback

On his thoughts about the success of the game: “They got a good front, lots of good players on their side, got a good defense, but you know we got them on all phases, and I think we did that today. Like we always say, ‘bend don’t break’ or if something happens on the offense, we need to just step up on the defense, and I think we did that this game.”

On the young defensive backs getting an interception two weeks in a row: “That’s what we came to do, like they say on defense ‘Let’s stand up,’ and that’s what we did. That’s two weeks in a row that the defense has (stood) up. We had some young guys do it again, and, man, it feels good to go out here and get two in a row.”

On whether he was aware of how the offense ran the ball: “For sure, we definitely pay attention, Hunt (Caleb Huntley) was running the ball hard, man. The O-line was blocking hard, and that’s what you need to get those 10 plays and run the clock off. It came up big for us.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m.

Oct. 23 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Oct. 30 vs. Carolina, 1 p.m.

Nov. 6 vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Carolina, 8:15 p.m.

Nov. 20 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.

Nov. 27 at Washington, 1 p.m.

Dec. 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

BYE WEEK

Dec. 18 at New Orleans, TBD

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD