What the Falcons had to say after their 20-17 win over the Saints

Here’s what the Falcons had to say after the 20-17 win over the Saints on Thursday:

JULIO JONES, wide receiver

On his touchdown-saving tackle before the half:

“It’s just a mentality. You’ve got to think, it’s the offensive line and the quarterback, so I’ve got to go out there and make a play.”

On how big this win is:

“Oh, it was a big win for us, a great team win. The defense played great for us. Offense, we still need to get better.”

On Deion Jones’ game-clinching interception:

“Deion had a phenomenal game today. He was really flying around. He was a madman today, and I appreciate playing with him.”

On why he yelled ‘I told you’ after he made the tackle:

“They were just going two-man on me, and I knew the guy was going to sit heavy inside. He still grabbed me in like a bear hug, and there wasn’t holding or anything called on the play, but I just wanted another play because I had seen it coming. I knew he was going to sit heavy inside on me.”

On how the offense bounced back from Matt Ryan’s interceptions:

“We don’t care about that. It’s one play, one play, one play. That’s the way you go about the game, good or bad. That’s just the mentality that you have to have. Next play, next play, you can’t dwell on the play before.”

On his mentality heading into the rematch in two weeks:

“I’m looking forward to it, but right now we’re going to take this small break and worry about Tampa.”

MOHAMED SANU, wide receiver

On catching a touchdown and giving the ball to his son:

“It was pretty cool. It was awesome to have him right there at the end of the end zone, so it kind of touched me. I shed a couple tears on the sideline. That’s me, that’s my junior, so it was so awesome.”

On what this win means:

“It’s big. It was a short week. We prepared hard. There were a lot of ebbs and flows of the game, but we stuck together and everybody fought hard.”

On how the offense bounced back from Matt Ryan’s three interceptions:

“Matt’s cool, calm and collected. Some of those were mishaps, and we just bounced back and stuck together.”

On the game-clinching interception:

“Actually, it was quick. I was looking down and when I looked back up I just heard everybody go crazy, so it was awesome.”

DEVONTA FREEMAN, running back

On the win:

"It was like riding down the street, and you have to keep focused on where you're going, and not what is happening with your destination. There are going to be bumps and bruises in the road. In this game, we had turnovers, but it's all about how you finish, and that's the main thing."

On Wes Schweitzer recovering the ball:

“I’m so thankful for [Wes] Schweitzer. That was a good play, and I appreciate that. We got the win so I’m happy.”

On whether he saw Sean Payton making choking gestures:

“I saw it. He is a good competitor, so his competitive side came out, but I don’t let that bother me.”

On the effects of short week:

“We knew what we were coming into after the last game we played. We just had to prepare the same, and we treated it normal. It was a good process for us.”

On reverting back to the run game due to turnovers:

“In football, you’re going to have turnovers. They are going to do something good, and we are going to do something good. They are in the NFL for a reason, but we had to finish.”

DEION JONES, linebacker 

On the Saints going for it on fourth and one:

“I knew it. I just kind of felt like they wanted to get a win. Drew [Brees] is a great quarterback and they can trust him. We just had to stand up and make the most of the opportunity. We had to finish strong.”

On the defense coming together down the stretch:

“It’s great. We always talk about being closers and being bad on the field. That is just a product of how hard we work and I’m proud. We have to have the offense’s back when we step out there.”

On his interception:

“I knew I was isolated and I thought Drew [Brees] knew that. When the tight end looked back, I looked back and the ball was right there. I just tried to make a play on the ball and I happened to catch it. It was a long way down but I held on to it. I was just thinking to hold on to the ball. It’s all about the ball. Once I realized that I had it, I knew it was going to be a long way down. I felt my feet in the air and I just wanted to hold on to it and get up with the ball. I just opened up my eyes and all my brothers were standing right there.”

KEANU NEAL, strong safety

On Deion Jones’ interception:

“I just saw him leap and take it. It was awesome. I knew he had a crazy vertical. He’s a freak athlete.”

On the defense finishing the game:

“It was cool. We put it on our shoulders. Like Q [Dan Quinn] said, the offense passed on the baton to us and we took care of it.”

On fighting for the division:

“We knew this was a must win. We came in the same way we do each week. Each week is championship week. We focus on the team at hand. Obviously, that was New Orleans so we got ready for them and it was part of championship week. Guys start turning it up as the regular season is coming to an end.”

RICARDO ALLEN, free safety 

On Deion Jones’ interception:

“That was an amazing catch. He flipped upside down and caught the ball. He landed on his neck. That was a great play. I don’t know how he caught it but I appreciate him catching it.”

On forcing turnovers:

“Every week we always talk about turnover margin and how important the ball is. It was great that we finished it on the turnover. It was “Turnover Thursday” and we ended up getting the win.”

On looking ahead at the rest of the season:

“We still take it one day and one game at a time. We never look too far ahead. We can enjoy the moment right now and then when we get our ten days off and focus on the next team. You can’t look too far ahead and you can’t be thinking about the playoffs right now when you are still in the regular season.”

On the defense coming together:

“Last year we didn’t put out the show that we wanted to. This year we came back and wanted to put it on our shoulders. We didn’t want the offense to have to score 40 points to win every game even though they are capable of it. We want to go out there and ball. That’s what we did.”