I'd like to first congratulate the Atlanta Falcons organization on a tremendous season. This is a very well-coached football team and we knew we were going to have to come in here today and play at a very high level. I'm proud of our team's performance, particularly early in the football game today to overcome the adversity situations that Atlanta presented to us. It's a big team win, and we're looking forward to a couple days off here and playing in the NFC Championship Game next week.
(Injuries coming out of the game)
Nick Collins had cramps and returned after an IV. Patrick Lee had a hip injury and did not return. John Kuhn had a stinger and did not return. Aaron Rodgers had cramps and we just took him out for precautionary reasons.**
(What are your thoughts on Aaron Rodgers' performance tonight?)
I thought Aaron Rodgers was excellent today. Just the ability to play with a run and pass mix throughout the game, particularly the first three quarters and stay in favorable down-and-distance and he was excellent with his in-the-pocket and out-of-the-pocket performance. He was on fire, he likes playing in domes, and you can see why. Just the fact that we were able to control the line of scrimmage, I know our offensive and defensive lines coming into this game felt that they had to respond, clearly [from] the way we played the first time down here in November. So, it starts up front, and with that, Aaron was able to run the offense at a very high level today.
(Did you ever expect to dominate the way you did today?)
Well, every game takes on its own identity. Our plan was to obviously challenge them by putting our defense on the field first and with that, try to get the lead so we weren't into a ball-control type game like we played down here in November where we were limited with only seven possessions. So, the ability to get out in front, and for our defense to play downhill, was a big factor in today's win.
(What can you say about Tramon Williams coming up with huge plays in back-to-back weeks?)
Tramon Williams has clearly played at a Pro Bowl level, there's no question about it. To see your big-time players step up in the prime-time games, that's what it's all about. We're a very confident football team, we've definitely hit our groove, we're very, very proud of what we accomplished here today, and we're looking forward to next week. Tramon Williams, he has done it all year; he has been playing at this level all year.
(You talked this week about your team being a 'championship caliber' team. Do you feel like they backed that up tonight?)
Absolutely; we're a championship-caliber football team, we talked about that before the Philadelphia game. We have 16 quarters on our mind, we've completed eight of them and we have an opportunity to play in four more next week. We feel very good about who we are, the way we played, our brand of football in all three areas, and that's what we're sticking to.