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William Moore: "If everybody does their job...we can't lose."

Strong safety William Moore spoke to the media Friday about the atmosphere in the locker room and what the Falcons need to do to turn things around.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

William Moore is a veteran cornerstone of the improved Falcons defense, and his leadership is as important as ever as the team looks to shake off this losing streak against the Vikings on Sunday.

I asked Moore how important it is for the locker room to remain cohesive down the stretch, and Moore said that it especially matters considering that the season isn't lost. Things can turn around for the Falcons. They're not out of the playoff hunt.

"We've witnessed struggles around here as far as losing seasons, and we know how it is to get in this type of bind where it's hard to get out of," Moore said. "So at this point, we're still in a great position to dig ourselves out of it and go down the stretch, but we've got to take it one game at a time, and that's only going to happen throughout the week."

The Falcons definitely can turn it around, and this week's matchup is an ideal place to start. Minnesota is perched atop the NFC North, but a loss to the Falcons on Sunday would put the Vikings level with Green Bay. A win for the Falcons could prove to be an important tiebreaker heading into the postseason, and it's just as crucial for Minnesota.

Fans may feel apprehensive about the Falcons heading into this game after the way the team has played of late. Moore identified the reason for the team's struggles as not finishing ballgames.

"We start out fast and we seem to not close it out in the fourth quarter, and we've got to start putting teams away," Moore told NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon. "You can't give anybody breath in the NFL, because once the game gets close, anybody can come back."

Atlanta's run defense has actually been good this season, and they'll face a tough test this week in Adrian Peterson. Moore said that the key with Peterson is being disciplined and tackling effectively.

"Number one is know your assignment and gap responsibilities, because he's one of the best backs. His vision — he could be going right but he sees everything that's going on left,'re posted in this gap, you think he's running this way, but he's jumped back," Moore said. "He's one of the best at doing it, and it's all about being gap responsible and knowing your assignment better than anybody else, and tackling, number one. He'll break an arm tackle easy. One-on-one tackling is a problem. We've seen multiple defenders try to take him down one-on-one, and he breaks out of it, so it's going to be good to gang tackle."

Moore also said that while the temptation might exist to overextend and do too much to stop Peterson, he doesn't think it will be an issue for Dan Quinn's Falcons.

"I've been a victim of that before by saying I want to do a little bit more and not doing what I'm supposed to do," Moore said. "That can definitely be a problem, but in this locker room, I don't think so, because Coach Quinn preaches, 'Do your job.' And he preaches that so much, so I think guys just have to step up to the plate and do [their] job. If everybody does their job...we can't lose."