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The Nate Stupar Mailbag: on the scoop and score, being a dad, and more

Falcons linebacker Nate Stupar answers your questions about that fantastic scoop and score to end the game against the Texans and more.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons linebacker and special teamer extraordinaire answers your questions each week about the Falcons, life in general, and his exceptional season so far. You can follow Nate on Twitter @thenastynate54, and check out his website,

Did you feel that you'd make it without collapsing during the fumble return?

Nate Stupar: The only thing I was thinking about was don't get caught. If I would've gotten caught I never would have heard the end of it from my teammates. And yes, I was exhausted after the run. All I could do was smile.

I know you preach one week at a time, but in reality your mind must slip sometimes. How is the team keeping the early success from getting to their heads? Especially after such a dominating win on Sunday.

Nate Stupar: I think this team is very focused. I don't think we let the success get to our heads because we expect to win. When you work hard all week and put in the work, you expect to win, it just seems like another day. We work on winning every day so when it comes, it's not a surprise.

Were you looking for the O2 tank after your touchdown or during it?

Nate Stupar: Haha, no, I wasn't looking for the O2 tank. I was actually looking up to the second level to point to my wife and daughter, my parents and my friends who were able to make it to the game. It was a blessing to have a play like that and have them witness it live.

How did you convince all the guys on special teams to always let you get every single tackle?

Nate Stupar: I don't convince them to give me anything. It's always a competition on getting tackles on our squad. Especially with me and Eric Weems. Ever since I got here, me and him have been battling day in and day out for the most tackles. We take pride in that competition.

At any point during that fumble recovery touchdown did it cross your mind that you should kneel it? Like... for sportsmanship? Before you were like, "Naaaaah... TO THE HOUSE!"

Nate Stupar: It did cross my mind that I should have kneeled it, but that thought left real quick. Not every day you get a fumble recovery for a TD. You have to take advantage of the opportunities that you get. For me that was my first ever NFL touchdown.

How did the fumble happen for you? Did time slow down and you just reacted, or did you think about it? Not gonna lie, watching you run it back all the way was my favorite moment of the game. glad it happened to such a great dude.

Nate Stupar: It was such a long play. #18 caught the ball and started running around. I kind of slowed down once I got to him because I knew he was getting tackled, but all of a sudden the ball was at my feet and I just knelt down and picked it up. I started running and didn't get tackled and that's when I started to get excited knowing I was going to score. It happened so quick I didn't have time for feelings. Once I got to the end is when I started to get happy and excited.

How has having a baby this season affected you? From what I've seen on Twitter, she's quite adorable.

Nate Stupar: Having Mya has changed me for the better. It makes me prepare more and want to work harder. Having my wife and baby make me want to be a better man, a better husband and a better dad. It pushes me to the next level. Something I never knew I had in me. It's exciting.

Did you keep the ball (from the TD)?

Nate Stupar: Yes I did keep the ball. I'm lucky that my good friend Paul Worrilow came running across the field and picked the ball up and gave it to me. I would've forgotten about it. I dropped it and was so excited that it was just laying there on the turf.  Thank you Paul!

You excel at special teams and you are becoming a solid linebacker. Did you play special teams at Penn State? If not was it a hard skill to pick up?

Nate Stupar: Special teams was something that I have always been good at. At Penn State I've blocked 3 punts and helped on numerous kickoff and punt returns for TDs. It's always been a passion of mine. I know it's important and is something that I take great pride in.

Are you #TeamAndroid or #TeamIphone?

Nate Stupar: #TeamiPhone all day! I've had a Samsung Galaxy 3S back in the day and nothing can replace an iPhone. It's just so smooth and works perfectly with everything else I own. Everything is perfectly synced, most of the time. Nothing is perfect. But Apple is the best.