GLENDALE, Ariz. — All throughout the week, John Abraham said there was no extra significance to facing off against the Atlanta Falcons.
The veteran linebacker said there was no added motivation to have a good game against his former team, believing he had nothing to prove to the organization he was a part of the last seven seasons.
Sunday, after his new team beat his old one 27-13, the 35-year-old admitted, ever so slightly, that this win felt a bit different.
“I mean it felt good to beat them, I’m not going to lie about that,” he said. “But you know, it kind of hurts a little bit because I don’t like seeing my other teammates go into a slump like this because I know how much those guys work, I know how much they put into this.”
Abraham noted that it would have felt different for him had this game been played in Atlanta, but ultimately he viewed it less as an opportunity to beat his former team than it was a chance for the Cardinals to earn a big win.
Abraham, who left the game in the fourth quarter due to a head injury, finished the afternoon with two tackles — one of which was a sack.
“It was good to get a chance to play against him, the respect I have for Matt,” Abraham said of Falcons QB Matt Ryan. “You know, I should have had maybe two more sacks here, the way I see it.”
His effort was part of a day of dominance by Arizona’s defense, which harassed Falcons QB Matt Ryan to the tune of four sacks and four interceptions.
“We have that type of defense,” Abraham said. “We wanted to start it off fast regardless just so we could get our mindset ready to play and pound it out and I think we did a good job of doing that.”