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Falcons vs. Lions: Mike Smith happy with fast start, screen game

Falcons head coach Mike Smith addresses the media after their 31-18 win over the Liions on Saturday night.

Leon Halip

The Atlanta Falcons were able to hold off the Detroit Lions 31-18 on Saturday night to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Falcons head coach Mike Smith had good things to say about his teams win over the Lions.

He first mentioned that the team's main concern heading into the game against the Lions was just getting their 13th win, and he was happy with the teams fast start, and the way the Falcons battled back:

Really liked the start, it was a very good start in the first half. Built up a 21-6 lead. Kind of started slow and didn't play the type of football that we'd like to there in the third quarter. Detroit made some plays but I think it really says a lot about what I think our football team is about. We were able to battle back in all three phases. We all contributed and we were able to get the result that we wanted.

Smith also touched on the way quarterback Matt Ryan played when the Lions made it a 21-16 game late in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdown drives to put the game away.

The screen passing game was key in the win, because Smith said that they needed to do something different to slow down the Lions pass rush. That wrinkle in the offense worked as the Falcons were able to not allow the Lions defense to be as aggressive as they normally are.

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