The Falcons are focused on the Steelers and going 1-0 this week, and players didn't dwell on Monday night's loss to the Packers. Players were asked this week, however, if they learned something about the team from the way they fought back in the second half against Green Bay.
Quarterback Matt Ryan said that he didn't necessarily learn anything he hadn't already known, but he did like the way the team refused to throw in the towel. "Well, there's no give-up. I think that's a good thing to see, because that's not the easiest thing, to go back out when you're down," Ryan said. "And there's belief. There's belief that regardless of the situation, you can make things happen."
That said, the loss still stung. "At the end of the day, we went up there to win the game," Ryan said, "and we fell short, and we've got to get back at it this week and find a way to get it done this week."
Steven Jackson wasn't happy about the loss, but he does think the team is playing better football in all three phases, and he's encouraged by that, particularly by the way the offensive line is coming together. "Well, the last two weeks I think we faced two of the top NFC teams, and we came out one and one. Obviously we would like to win both games, but seeing that we've - the last eight quarters of football, we've faced two very good teams and I think we've played well," Jackson said. "We always get better, we all grow as a team, but that's good to know that this late in the season you have young guys still jumping up front in the offensive line. They're actually looking really good right now. And us as a team overall - defense is swarming to the ball, creating turnovers, and special teams as well - Devin. I mean, every phase of the game, we're all getting better at it, and we have guys that are able to make plays."
As far as the offensive line is concerned, rookie center James Stone said that they're playing with more confidence each week. "Our confidence is growing and we feel better that we're able to keep playing together and with the same group and we all just continue to improve each week," Stone said, "and we just want to keep getting better, because we see what our guys - our weapons on offense can do if we just give them a chance and we protect and give them holes."
Kroy Biermann was asked if the team's second half performance against the Packers gave them confidence heading into the last three games of the season. "You could maybe say confidence," Biermann said. "You could maybe say some pride was taken back, and I think guys continued to fight and that showed a lot for the character of our defense. But yeah, I think there's - we've shown flashes, I think, that we can play as a unit and we can play together, and when we do, we can play with anybody in the NFL. But we've got to be consistent and we've got to do it week in and week out, and I think that's coming soon."
The team hasn't really put together four solid, consistent quarters of football in all three phases with the exception of the blowout of Tampa Bay in week three, but this Sunday, facing a Steelers team that is inconsistent but incredibly talented, would be a great time to start.