What the Falcons had to say after 43-6 win over Raiders

Credit: Atlanta Falcons

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris praises the defensive performance in Atlanta’s 43-6 win over Las Vegas.

Credit: Atlanta Falcons

Here’s what the Falcons said after the 43-6 win over the Raiders:

DEION JONES, LINEBACKER

On the team’s performance on Sunday: “It was great. As a defense and a team we put it all together. We played well together. We finally put one on film. We have one to look at and to grow from.”

On playing for defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and his leadership in general: ”He is always on us making sure we are locked in and working on our details. He is real particular about how we do things. We have to respect him for that. It shows when it translates on film.”

On his interception that he returned for a touchdown: ”I had him. We had a great rush, which made him throw a bad ball. It was behind the running back. I secured it. Once I got in the clear and I put the ball up I knew it was going home.”

On the defensive line stepping up on Sunday: ”It is a product of how hard they work. They have always been working and always been working hard. They have been waiting on this opportunity to come. When the opportunity came they took full advantage of it. That is all we can ask from them.”

On whether the momentum from this game can carry on to future games: ”For sure. We put a real good game together this week. We got a lot to look at and let it sink in. We can be a great defense and a great team. When we focus on that and see what it took we just take that same work ethic to next week and it trickles over.”

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Falcons running back Ito Smith (center) finds a hole for the end zone to give Atlanta a 40-6 lead over the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Falcons running back Ito Smith (center) finds a hole for the end zone to give Atlanta a 40-6 lead over the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons running back Ito Smith (center) finds a hole for the end zone to give Atlanta a 40-6 lead over the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

ITO SMITH, RUNNING BACK

On sparking the run game: ”It is a blessing. You know my story. Long road back last year and I had to sit out half of the season. God is good. I am very blessed to be back. I never gave up. I got my opportunity and I made the best of it.”

ExploreIto Smith’s big game part of a ‘long road back’

On what he saw on his touchdown run and the 24-yard fourth-quarter run: ”There was a big, big hole. I didn’t have to worry about anything. I just got the ball, I just ran. The 24-yard gain, I was just with the safety and I was stiff-arming him. He ended up getting me down, but on the touchdown, that was a huge hole. The line, they did a great job today. I’m proud of them.”

On the offensive line this week after last week: ”Last week all of those sacks were not their fault. It was different various reasons. All of those sacks were not their fault. They just came out and balled. They did their thing today.”

On playing without Todd [Gurley] and Julio [Jones]: ”We cannot wait to get them back. We got weapons all over. It goes to the guys higher up in the organization. They do a good job bringing guys in. When someone does go down, it is next man up mentality.”

RUSSELL GAGE, WIDE RECCEIVER

On the mindset of the team after the win: ”I’m just going to reiterate what he [Deion Jones] said, you know, we put it all together. That was the biggest thing. We know the type of team we are and the type of team we want to be. Today I really think we really came out and showed it. We dominated, executed, and that was the result, so I’m really proud of us.”

ExploreFalcons receivers step up with Julio Jones out

On whether the team can feel when WR Julio Jones is not playing: ”Definitely. Defenses feel his presence. We understand that when he’s out there he’s going to get double teamed so there’s going to be a lot more one-on-one opportunities. Even though there were still opportunities with him not being out there, we can definitely still feel the difference by the defense and the way they gameplan.”

On not having RB Todd Gurley play today:”Same thing, but I think our boys stepped up and did a great job. Ito [Smith] and B [Brian] Hill did a great job in the run game. Really pressing their guys, running the ball hard and strong. It’s definitely understood that we’re going to play hard for TG [Todd Gurley] and Julio [Jones].”

On the improved offensive line play:”It was a big emphasis. It was understood that Matt Ryan got hit too many times. They knew that. Those are a great group of guys who want to see our offense be successful. So I knew they were going to go out here and make adjustments and they did a great job today.”

On whether Interim Head Coach Raheem Morris has the ability to continue to coach this team: ”I love coach Raheem. He definitely has a head coach mentality. He brings a lot of energy to this team and he does a great job in getting us up. He understands what we want and our standard in this organization. So I love him and I love to see him here. Obviously it’s not my call, but he’s a great guy and a great coach.”

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Falcons defensive tackle Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (91) recovers a Las Vegas Raiders fumble during the first quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Falcons defensive tackle Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (91) recovers a Las Vegas Raiders fumble during the first quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons defensive tackle Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (91) recovers a Las Vegas Raiders fumble during the first quarter Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

JACOB TUIOTI-MARINER, DEFENSIVE END

On today’s performance: ”It was a great collective team win. It all started off on Monday when we came in and made our corrections. We learned from our mistakes and we learned off of that. We continued to have a great week of practice mentally and physically. It’s based off of that. It was just a great team win. Proud to be out there.”

ExploreJacob Tuioti-Mariner ‘was everywhere’

On the recently improved defensive play: ”I feel like everybody has taken notice. The defense has taken a step forward these past couple weeks. It is a good feeling. We all trust each other with our jobs. It is just a good feeling to be out there and flying around with each other.”

On his personal performance: ”I cannot thank anyone else but my teammates. They made that happen. The coaches had a great game plan going into the game. All thanks to them, they created the opportunity for me to go out there and help out the team. Once again it is a team effort on everything.”

On his journey from undrafted to a game like today: ”I love my journey. I would not have it any other way. The journey I have had has taught me how to work hard, be disciplined, keep my head down, and keep working. I do not compare myself to others. I just keep working. I know there are two things I can control in a game: my effort and my physicality. Those are the two things I can control and I make sure I bring that consistently.”

On players stepping up who do not always contribute each week: ”It comes to show that everybody on this team prepares like a starter. Nobody goes into the week and prepares like a backup. You want to go into a game like you are starting a game. When your name gets called it is next man up. Obviously you want to go out there and perform. This game comes to show that all of the guys that stepped up were able to make it happen.”

Falcons’ next four games

Saints at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Falcons at Chargers at 4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13

Buccaneers at Falcons at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 20

Falcons at Chiefs at 1 p.m., Dec. 27

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