Monday night's win did more than put the Atlanta Falcons at 2-0 - it helped break down the growing perception that Atlanta can't win "big" (read: primetime) games against "big" (read: first-place or marquee names) teams.
The Falcons' secondary made a bold statement early, intercepting Peyton Manning three times in the first quarter, thanks to a series of shifting coverages and looks from new coordinator Mike Nolan. Through just two games, Atlanta has five INTs, three coming at the safety position. Thomas DeCoud, who caught the one of the three INTs, talked to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday night about how the Falcons will now be perceived by the league:
"When you go up against a quarterback of the quality of Peyton Manning and you play well like we did I think it is a statement. You can go out and have one of the best quarterbacks in the game reeling a little bit and kind of on his heels, I think it does make a statement as far as the talent that we have."
Even though Atlanta's offense didn't score enough points to put the game out of reach, the Falcon defense created turnovers in four of the first five Bronco drives.