“I thought he did a good job of getting us into the right plays based on the looks,” Smith said. “And the attack at the end of the game, you can’t operate any better than that.”
Though the Falcons‘ offensive identity is based on a power running game, they changed their approach against Baltimore. In the first half, Ryan handed the ball to his running backs 14 times for 34 meager yards, but he completed 20 of 28 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown.
“We feel confident we know the system really well and we felt that it would keep some of what Baltimore did (defensively) vanilla,” Ryan said. “The plan wasn’t necessarily to come out and throw it on every snap, but that’s just kind of the looks we were getting.”
Smith loved the outcome for a team that’s 27-14 in his tenure and pushing for its second playoff berth in three years. He never doubted the outcome Thursday after Baltimore took a one-point lead with 1:05 remaining.
“There was an air of confidence about what needed to be done and what we were going to get done,” Smith said. “It was a heck of a drive in the last 65 seconds for us to win the game.”
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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