Falcons Coach Arthur Smith: 'My Money is on Matt Ryan'

Falcon Report
Falcon Report

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith felt good about his chances of a comeback with Matt Ryan at the helm.

The Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's Week 9 built a fat lead into the fourth quarter at the New Orleans Saints ,,,, just to watch it evaporate. The Saints scored three touchdowns in the fourth to take a one-point lead, but they left 1:01 on the clock, and quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense had a chance.

Ryan began the drive with a 64-yard pass to Cordarrelle Patterson, and Pro Bowl kicker Younghoe Koo put the finishing touches on a 27-25 Falcons win that avoided a loss after another fourth-quarter (near-) collapse.

With 61 seconds left on the clock, coach Arthur Smith felt good about the Falcons' chances.

"We hope so,'' he said. "That is what we said when Mr. Blank hired me and Terry [GM Fontenot]. We wanted a tough-minded football team. It’s hard to build that. You get in games like this, yeah, sure, you would love to be in four-minute and win easy in the fourth quarter."

"Our guys don’t flinch. I was joking with [Falcons owner Arthur] Mr. Blank that I’ll get a text later from my mother telling me to stop doing that. We’re just trying to win. So, we’ll do it any way we can.

"And,'' added Smith, "when you put the ball in Matt Ryan’s hand with the game on the line, my money is on Matt. That’s how I feel.”

The Falcons had a 24-6 lead and had a familiar feeling of blowing a big lead and losing. Should this one have been more comfortable?

"It’s the National Football League,'' Smith said. "It’s not for soft souls. If you get comfortable, shame on you."

With the win, the Falcons have moved back to .500 at 4-4 and kept their playoff hopes alive. The Falcons are currently the seventh seed in the NFC, and if the season ended today, would be in the playoffs.

Atlanta travels to Dallas next week, the division leader in the NFC East. But the Cowboys were just trounced at home by the previously 4-4 Denver Broncos.

The playoffs seemed like a long-shot just a week ago after the Falcons were bullied by the Carolina Panthers at home, but they're still a possibility.

But it's no time to get comfortable. These are the Atlanta Falcons, and it's the National Football League. No "soft souls'' here. Just a lot of trust in Matt Ryan.

Arthur Smith - 'My Money is on Matt' (; 0:58)

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