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Falcons vs. Lions: Matt Ryan says Atlanta confident going into playoffs

The Falcons are the number one seed in the NFC playoffs, and quarterback Matt Ryan said the team is confident they have learned from their past failings.

USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Detroit Lions 31-18 on Saturday night, and clinched a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs in the process. The Falcons have famously under-performed in the playoffs in recent years, but quarterback Matt Ryan said the team is confident that they can use that experience to do better this season:

"You know, I think we’re definitely a different football team than we’ve been the past couple of years. Right now I think our confidence is high and our experience in the past, both good and bad, I think has helped us get to the point we’re at. I think the key is to continue to keep the focus where it’s been and keep trying to play our best football moving forward."

Wide receiver Roddy White had a huge game for the Falcons, catching eight passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The touchdowns were 44 and 39 yards, respectively, and both came in the first half. Here's Ryan on White's night at work:

"You know, you never know. In our offense, I feel like it could be any one of those three guys to step up and make the plays week in and week out. I thought Roddy in the first half had some unbelievable plays for us, some explosives, and I’m fortunate to have all those guys around me."

Ryan finished the game 25-32 for 279 yards and four touchdowns, and also rushed for 25 yards.

The Falcons end the regular season next week when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on FOX.

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