Falcons’ Marcus Mariota: ‘We leaned on our guys up front’

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

On the defense coming up with big plays to close out back-to-back games: “It’s awesome to see, really. Our defense has continued to make big plays in pivotal moments. We as an offense, that excites us because we understand that if we can get down there and take a lead in the fourth quarter, our guys have the opportunity to close it out. But credit to our defense. They kept us in it, really, and gave us an opportunity at the end to win.”

ExploreDefense steps up as Falcons pull out victory over Browns

On their success in the run game: “It starts up front. You’ve got to give credit to our O-line. They did an unbelievable job, unbelievable job. For us as an offense, sometimes you’ve got to be patient. You’re not going to make plays down (the field in) the passing game, and we understood that. If they’re covering some of our play-action passes, some of our intermediate game, we had opportunities to run the football. We leaned on our guys up front. Our backfield was unbelievable. Young guys coming in and stepping up and making big plays. That’s what it takes. I don’t really care as long as we win games.”

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On his biggest takeaways from Sunday’s win: “Again, I just thought it was a complete team win. The offense made plays when we needed to. The defense made plays when we needed to. Special teams. They came up big, too. To be able to play all three phases that way is huge for us. I think it’s building a great foundation for the rest of the season.”

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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