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Cardinals vs. Falcons: Mike Smith praises Atlanta's 'resolve'

Coach Mike Smith was not happy with last week's performance against the Saints, but he and the Falcons will look to return to their winning ways against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Chris Graythen

The Falcons are coming off their first loss of the season, but under coach Mike Smith, Atlanta has generally done very well following a defeat. Since 2008, Smith and the Falcons are 18-3 after a loss.

All three of their back-to-back losses came in 2009, meaning that the Falcons have not lost two games in a row in almost three years. On Sunday they'll face a Cardinals team that is still vying for a playoff spot.

Despite the loss, Smith was encouraged by how the team clawed back last week against the Saints: "We were down by 11 and had the ball down inside our 10-yard line, and we took it for a 90-yard-plus drive," Smith said. "That says a lot about the resolve of this football team."

Following their Week 11 game against Arizona, the Falcons have three NFC South games in a row. If they can win their next four games, the Falcons will clinch the division and a playoff spot.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.