Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
It looked like the Atlanta Falcons would earn their first loss on the season on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, but then the team's defense picked up their efforts to help lead the team to another victory
The Atlanta Falcons entered Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders with a perfect 5-0 record on the season, but it looked like the sixth win could be in serious doubt. With quarterback Matt Ryan struggling and throwing three interceptions, the defense stepped up to preserve Atlanta's undefeated season for at least another game, writes Daniel Cox of AtlantaFalcons.com.
Late in the fourth quarter, the two teams were tied at 13 with the Raiders having the ball for what could have been the final drive of the game. Instead, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was picked off by cornerback Asante Samuel, who returned the interception for a touchdown and the lead.
While the Raiders were able to tie the game on the following drive, the Falcons defense truly stepped up on Sunday against Oakland on a day where the offense struggled.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux acknowledged the team's efforts, noting the big pick-6 from Samuel as one of several big plays on the day. "It's a team game," Babineaux said. "Somebody's got to step up and make plays. Today we did that. Asante got the big pick, too. We just went out and finished the game."