Monday, December 06, 2010

Atlanta Falcons' Mindset Puts Them In the NFC South Driver's Seat

The Atlanta Falcons have won another tough NFL game with playoff implications.  They maintained the lead in the NFC South and continue to have the best record in the NFC.  They are also tied for the best record in the NFL.  In another late comeback win, The Atlanta Falcons were able to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-24 on Sunday for their sixth straight win. 

Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons' third-year quarterback was interviewed after the game.  He said, 

“We felt like we were moving the ball all day. We didn’t feel like we were moving it as well as we’d like. We were in some tough spots and we had to overcome. We had some penalties that kind of got us off schedule. We felt like if we cleaned some things up, we could move the football. Again, we had some penalties, but we overcame them on the last drive. The mindset was the same. We felt we could go down the field and score. We’ve been in those situations a number of times this year. We made the plays when we needed to.”

ON NOT PANICKING: “I think it says a lot about our resolve. We’ve been in these situations a number of times this year and we’ve been successful in a lot of those situations because we understand that we can make plays when we need to. We did that today.”
ON EARLIER COMEBACKS: “Absolutely, every time that you’re in different situation. And you have that experience to draw from; it helps to boost your confidence. We were a very confident team at the start of the year, but having played through a lot of different situations, I think our confidence has grown.”
Ryan, threw a 9-yard touchdown to receiver Michael Jenkins with a little over four and a half minutes remaining in the game.  
This was Ryan’s sixth fourth quarter, game winning effort of year.  He kept a 10-play, 67-yard drive alive with a 25-yarder to receiver Roddy White on a third-and-20.
Ryan finished the day 18-for-36, 205 yards and two touchdowns.

“We didn’t play our best game. It wasn’t one of our better games, but we are a very resilient group. Guys can put bad plays behind them and we have to do that in this league. There are going to be plays that don’t go your way. Our guys did a good job of staying composed. They never blinked. That’s what this team is all about. They are not going to blink whenever things go the other team’s way.”
ON RUNNING OUT OF MIRACLE FINISHES: “I know this, most of the games in this league come down to a touchdown or less. Between 25 and 30 percent of them are decided by a field goal. We’ve just been in a situation where we’ve played in a lot of those. We know that this team is a talented team and that they have a lot of resolve. No matter what the situation is, they are going to play to the end. When you do that, you have the opportunity to win games. That’s what we’ve been able to do. We’ve been very fortunate.”
--Mike Smith, head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Excerpts taken from (December 6, 2010) and (December 6, 2010).
For more on performance psychology, mindset, and mental conditioning, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.  Also, download the smartphone app, Mindfuel Lite, to learn about the Peak Performance System.  

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