ATLANTA --A defense new to each other with a collection of Pro Bowl talent is just that until it closes a game. That's how it looks to cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in the aftermath of the painful 35-31 loss to the Falcons on Sunday night.
The defense allowed back-to-back touchdown drives of 80 yards and was unable to hold on to a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. That was disappointing, especially in light of the way the defense's resurgence in the third quarter helped the Eagles erase a 21-10 deficit.
"We have to finish it off in the fourth quarter," said Asomugha. "That is our responsibility. Until we do that, we're just another defense trying to find itself. You always want that signature effort. It doesn't matter if you've played well for three quarters. You need it at the end."
Asomugha ended a potential Falcons scoring opportunity in the second quarter when he stepped in front of a Matt Ryan pass for his first interception since the 2009 season. Asomugha was in zone coverage against Atlanta's slot receiver and read Ryan's eyes. He jumped the route on the pass intended for tight end Tony Gonzalez and made the play.
"It's something you care about because it was a play that came at a critical time and ended a scoring chance," said Asomugha. "But we needed a win here and we didn't get it. In the end, that is all that matters."
Asomugha played against both Roddy White and rookie Julio Jones and was thrown at more than a few times. He made his share of plays, as did fellow cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. White caught just 3 passes for 23 yards and Jones had 2 grabs for 29 yards.