“It was definitely not an easy task to deal with that loss, especially with the type of success that we’ve had, and not losing since last December; but that’s something that’s good. I’m not saying we’re glad to have this taste in our mouth, but maybe it’s a good thing to have this now, you’d rather have it now then anytime during the playoffs.
“We’ve had some close calls, we’ve obviously come back from some tough downs during games, and it was just that we couldn’t overcome the mistakes that we made. Not to take any credit away from San Francisco and the way that they played, because they did play pretty well, but we made a lot of mistakes that they ended up capitalizing on and I think that’s one of the reasons that they won.
“I think this team has a want to, to win. With the maturity and the drive that everybody has in that locker room, if we would have ended up at 16-0 or 24-0, whatever it may be, we still would have had that same drive. I think this obviously put a bad taste in our mouth that we don’t like and we’re going to do everything in our power, and the way that we came out in practice today, that we don’t ever want to have this taste again throughout the rest of the season. If we do it’s going to have to be a fluke, that we didn’t give that game away or make a ton of mistakes to lose the game.
“I think we play pretty solid defense over all, but it’s a matter sometimes that for whatever reason we make a mistake here and there and we let out a big play. That’s where we really have struggled and I think earlier in the games what we’ve done is we’ve allowed a big play that has gotten us to, or allowed that team to get down to the 20- or 30-yard line and we’ve held them to a field goal. As of late, primarily this last game, we’ve let out big plays and gotten them down to the 2-yard line or the 5-yard line and we’ve ended up not holding them to a field goal and allowing them a touchdown, which is not like us. We need to get back to our old form in holding teams to field goals and really holding them out of field goal range like we’ve done in the past.
“Atlanta has a very powerful offense. I think they’re very well balanced from receivers, to running backs, to their offensive line, to their fullbacks – they’re a very balanced offense and have a great quarterback at that, one that can manage the game really well and that’s what they expect from him. It’s a team that definitely poses a big challenge for us in all phases, not just in the running game, but as well in the passing game with them having a well-schooled quarterback who has played in tough games and in tough situations. It’s exciting, it will be a lot of fun. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the football field and having the opportunity to go out there and win.”
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