POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 21, 2010
ATLANTA » Matt Ryan insists the Atlanta Falcons weren't thinking about the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints as they crushed the Arizona Cardinals.
It sure didn't take long for talk to shift to the Saints after the game.
The Falcons gained momentum for this week's NFC South game at New Orleans by overwhelming the Cardinals 41-7. The Falcons, led by backup running back Jason Snelling's 129 yards rushing, 57 yards receiving and three touchdowns, took a 33-11 advantage in first downs in the dominant win.
Atlanta held the ball almost twice as long as Arizona, stopped each of the Cardinals' eight third-down plays and intercepted three passes.
It was just the well-rounded performance the Falcons needed after a tough opening loss at Pittsburgh.
"We're going to be a more confident football team going into next week against New Orleans," said receiver Roddy White, who had seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Bring on the Saints.
"It's got to give us confidence, but at the same time we're going against the world champions, so we know our plates are full," said tight end Tony Gonzalez.
"We know we've got to duplicate what we did this week and maybe even keep rising up. We've got to get better."
The Falcons controlled the game against the Cardinals even after losing running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood to injuries.
The Falcons had 221 yards rushing, including 64 yards in the final quarter. Atlanta limited Arizona to 29 total yards in the final 15 minutes.
SF--Gore 12 pass from A.Smith (Nedney kick), 9:52.
SF--Dixon 2 run (Nedney kick), 6:51.
NO--D.Thomas 3 pass from Brees (Hartley kick), 1:43.
NO--FG Hartley 46, 13:31.
NO--FG Hartley 19, 2:12.
SF--Gore 7 run (V.Davis pass from A.Smith), 1:19.
NO--FG Hartley 37, :00.
|Total Net Yards||287||417|
|Time of Possession||32:40||27:20|
PASSING--New Orleans, Brees 28-38-0-254. San Francisco, A.Smith 23-32-2-275.
RECEIVING--New Orleans, P.Thomas 8-57, Colston 5-67, Bush 4-30, Shockey 3-37, Henderson 3-28, D.Thomas 3-10, H.Evans 1-18, Brees 1-7. San Francisco, Gore 7-56, Morgan 6-70, V.Davis 4-78, Walker 2-26, Crabtree 1-32, Byham 1-6, Norris 1-5, Zeigler 1-2.
New Orleans 25, San Francisco 22
Dallas at Houston, 7 a.m.
Buffalo at New England, 7 a.m.
Cleveland at Baltimore, 7 a.m..
Atlanta at New Orleans, 7 a.m.
Tennessee at N.Y. Giants, 7 a.m.
Cincinnati at Carolina, 7 a.m.
San Francisco at Kansas City, 7 a.m.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 7 a.m.
Detroit at Minnesota, 7 a.m.
Washington at St. Louis, 10:05 a.m.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville, 10:05 a.m.
San Diego at Seattle, 10:15 a.m.
Oakland at Arizona, 10:15 a.m.
Indianapolis at Denver, 10:15 a.m.
N.Y. Jets at Miami, 2:20 p.m.
Green Bay at Chicago, 2:30 p.m.