“I threw it and was hit and went to the ground. I didn’t really see what happened. I was on the ground. I just kind of heard the crowd. In between you kind of have a feel for what’s going on some times when you’re on the ground. It got loud and that’s when you know it’s probably not good. I kind of peek up and saw him going the other way.”
—Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on NaVorro Bowman's 89-yard interception touchdown return.
“It was a tough ending to a pretty well-played game. In certain ways, we’ve had opportunities in a lot of football games, but we haven’t found ways to win. Again, it was the same thing tonight.”
—Ryan on the loss.
“It’s a game of momentum. We started off a little slow offensively, but we were going against a very good defense. You kind of know that there are going to be drives where you stall out. You just have to stay patient and stick with the plan. I thought we did a great job of that. I though the second quarter and the fourth quarter that we had the momentum. We just couldn’t find a way to get it done.”
—Ryan on the offense's uneven play.
“That’s kind of the way it’s been all year. We just have to execute better and make those plays when it comes down to game time. We kind of got stalled out in the third quarter. We said that we were kind of going to stay together and go win the game.”
—Falcons center Joe Hawley on the 34-24 defeat.
“He was proud of the way that everybody fought. We just need to continue to execute better. We didn’t make the plays when we needed to and that’s kind of the story of the season.”
—Hawley on what head coach Mike Smith had to say to the team.
“We competed to the end. We were out there trying to match their intensity. They are a team that likes to go out and try to bully teams and we feel like we matched their intensity and put it to them. It’s unfortunate that the cookie didn’t crumble our way in the end.”
—Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud on standing up to the 49ers.
“It seems like it was one of those things where things were happening for us or them, I don’t want to say luck plays, but those things that fell together didn’t happen for us this year.”
—DeCoud on the ball bouncing the other way in 2013.
“It was very difficult. This whole season has been unfortunate for us. We didn’t get those last minute plays, but the best thing about this whole season and tonight, we fought. We are a great football team all the way around. The outcomes are not working out the way they are supposed to be going. But we are fighting.”
—Falcons strong safety William Moore on the game effort.
“Plays presented themselves and we were able to make those plays. We just capitalized on those plays in the first half.”
—Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu on the first half stops by the defense.
“We did a good job of stopping the run. We know they are a good rushing offense. The goal was to come out and put a stop to that and I thought we did a good job of that in the first half.”
—Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow on the defense's strong first-half.
“I think he came up in the middle and ended up getting outside.”
—Worrilow on San Francisco running back Kendall Hunter's 45-yard run.
“No, no. For me it was another game. For me, it was just another football game. It was an important game and went out there to win it.”
—Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas on if he was distracted by the Candlestick Park closing talk.
About the Author
Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com
Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC