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Falcons' Last-Ranked Pass Rush Still A Missing Link


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AP

4:04 p.m. EDT

October 22, 2015

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The pass rush is a missing link in the Atlanta Falcons' otherwise strong start.

The Falcons are tied for last in the NFL with only seven sacks through six games, and that's a troubling number for coach Dan Quinn heading into Sunday's game at Tennessee (1-4).

Atlanta (5-1) has improved in other areas under Quinn, but the pass rush seems to be stuck in the past. The Falcons finished 2014 with 22 sacks to rank ahead of only the Bengals' 20. This season they are tied for last in sacks with the Dolphins.

There is reason for hope this week.

Miami's pass rush had only one sack before enjoying a dramatic recovery with six sacks in last week's 38-10 win over the Titans. The Dolphins sacked Marcus Mariota five times in the first half.

Now the Falcons are hoping for a similar breakthrough against Tennessee's young offensive line. The Titans are expected to start two rookies on their offensive line — center Andy Gallik and right tackle Jeremiah Poutasi. Veteran Jamon Meredith shared time with Poutasi last week.

Quinn said his top priority for the defense is forcing more turnovers. An improved pass rush can create more opportunities for interceptions and also produce opportunities to strip the ball from the quarterback.

"There are a lot of times you can get the ball off the quarterback in terms of the sacks and the forced fumbles," Quinn said Thursday.

"That's for sure an area we've circled and dialed in on, to say how we can get better at this specific area."

Vic Beasley Jr., the first-round pick from Clemson, and Adrian Clayborn each have two sacks — disappointing totals for six games. Kroy Biermann, Ra'Shede Hageman and Nate Supar also have sacks.

"We just have to continue to hunt and continue to get after the quarterback," Clayborn said Thursday. "I feel we're doing all right. ... I guess the numbers don't show it, but we'll see. We've just got to do better."

The Falcons hoped Beasley would make a much bigger impact in their pass rush when they made him the No. 8 overall pick in this year's NFL draft.

Beasley has no sacks in the last three games. He has been close at times, but Quinn wants to see more from the rookie.

"I think that's a tough question only because close doesn't really count in this," Quinn said. "It's all about the finish. The hits are there, but how often do we move the quarterback off the spot? And really let's make sure we're all rushing together all four of the guys."

Quinn said he is happy with Beasley's effort.

"Although the numbers aren't there like we'd like them for him, there's no decline, in terms of the work and attitude to go get it," Quinn said.

NOTES: Quinn said LB Justin Durant (elbow) and C Mike Person (ankle) remain on track to play this week, barring setbacks. Each missed last week's loss at New Orleans. ... It is possible LB Phillip Wheeler, who signed on Tuesday, could play as early as this week. "We're really encouraged by the first couple of days," Quinn said.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2015/10/22/falcons-last-ranked-pass-rush-still-a-missing-link/74410738/

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I didn't realize the titans oline was so bad. Makes me wonder why you would draft a franchise QB before building a decent line to protect him.

Because you just dont pass on a franchise qb. Same reason bad teams always take them first unless they already have one. Look at our line when we took Ryan.

On the flip side the line can be great, but doesnt matter w/o a qb. Look ar DAL right now.

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I think this part speaks volumes and it's the truth:

"I think that's a tough question only because close doesn't really count in this," Quinn said. "It's all about the finish. The hits are there, but how often do we move the quarterback off the spot? And really let's make sure we're all rushing together all four of the guys

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Here we go again measuring success by number of SACKS

Heck I want to know who leads the league in

#1 Interceptions returned for TDs --more important than a sack

#2 fumbles recovered by a defense that are returned for TDs ---more important than a sack

#3 fumbles recovered by a defense--more important than a sack

#4 Interceptions by a defense ---more important than a sack

Yet all we hear is sack sack sack

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Here we go again measuring success by number of SACKS

Heck I want to know who leads the league in

#1 Interceptions returned for TDs --more important than a sack

#2 fumbles recovered by a defense that are returned for TDs ---more important than a sack

#3 fumbles recovered by a defense--more important than a sack

#4 Interceptions by a defense ---more important than a sack

Yet all we hear is sack sack sack

You have to get after the QB. Period. This is some basic football 101 ****. There is a reason why the DE/OLB position is considered a premium position in the NFL.

And I'm not going to even lie, this article got me a little irritated. There is always something wrong with this defense. It's getting tiring.

Edited by ZoneOne01
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You have to get after the QB. Period. This is some basic football 101 ****. There is a reason why the DE/OLB position is considered a premium position in the NFL.

And I'm not going to even lie, this article got me a little irritated. There is always something wrong with this defense. It's getting tiring.

YES you have to get after the QB

BUT there can be different outcomes of getting after him

Fumble, Interception, Sack, incomplete pass, Tackle etc

Why does everyone only choose sacks to measure success by???

What if your team is #1 at all but sacks is your D a failure

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YES you have to get after the QB

BUT there can be different outcomes of getting after him

Fumble, Interception, Sack, incomplete pass, Tackle etc

Why does everyone only choose sacks to measure success by???

What if your team is #1 at all but sacks is your D a failure

Our sack deficiencies are more defined considering the scheme we're running. I don't blame people for putting so much emphasis on our lack of sacks. Especially when you watch how teams are getting so many yards on us without throwing to our corners. It's very concerning.

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Our sack deficiencies are more defined considering the scheme we're running. I don't blame people for putting so much emphasis on our lack of sacks. Especially when you watch how teams are getting so many yards on us without throwing to our corners. It's very concerning.

I agree and concur

Still there are other things you do first ie cover the TEs and the pass over the middle (TE, WR, RB) better than we are doing don't depend on sacks to fix the problem yes sacks even hurries would help a lot

I'm not against sacks I'm all for them

BUT too many posters on here seem to think sacks are the all in all, the one and only (even the author of the article draws attention to it first thing)

Titans 16.0 sacks record 1-4

Falcons 7.0 sacks record 5-1

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Here we go again measuring success by number of SACKS

Heck I want to know who leads the league in

#1 Interceptions returned for TDs --more important than a sack

#2 fumbles recovered by a defense that are returned for TDs ---more important than a sack

#3 fumbles recovered by a defense--more important than a sack

#4 Interceptions by a defense ---more important than a sack

Yet all we hear is sack sack sack

I agree. I like the turnovers too. But my issue is we haven't been able to capitalize on marginal talent on opposing OLs. The Saints were on their 3rd string LT and we couldn't get any pressure.

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I agree. I like the turnovers too. But my issue is we haven't been able to capitalize on marginal talent on opposing OLs. The Saints were on their 3rd string LT and we couldn't get any pressure.

Just in general (meaning I'm not doing the research, nor am I asking anyone to do the research) but it would be interesting to see the completion percentages of the opposing QBs against Atl vs their completion percentages vs all other opponents so far this season

Are they really doing better against the Falcons than against other Defenses

Brees (against all including Atl) 68.4 --- Brees against Atl only 30/39 76.9

Eli (against all including Atl) 66.0----------Eli against Atl only 27/40 67.5

Bradford(against all including Atl) 63.2---Bradford against Atl only 36/52 69.2

these were the top 3

still Brees is the only one you could say had a field day

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Uh Oh!!!! The Mighty Quinn has spoken and he said that Beasley lil 2 sacks aren't good enough.

Beasley could have 20 sacks at the end of the year and our pass rush would still be considered bad because the other guys aren't getting there. Takes more than 1.

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Here we go again measuring success by number of SACKS

Heck I want to know who leads the league in

#1 Interceptions returned for TDs --more important than a sack

#2 fumbles recovered by a defense that are returned for TDs ---more important than a sack

#3 fumbles recovered by a defense--more important than a sack

#4 Interceptions by a defense ---more important than a sack

Yet all we hear is sack sack sack

Cool story, Smitty

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Sacks are NOT overrated, especially on 3rd down. The next time Beasley gets a sack, be sure to tweet him and let him know it was overrated.

Sacks are overrated...pressure is not..

The Jags lead the NFL in sacks for most of the season last year and were still one of the top sack getting teams at the end of the season...yet, their defense was one of the worst. The Seahawks, who had the #1 ranked D was one of the teams that was below average at getting sacks. They were 20th in the sack department. Patriots were 14th.

The Rams, Titans, Ravens and Bucs are some of the top sack getting teams right now. Yet...they have some of the worst records.

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Just in general (meaning I'm not doing the research, nor am I asking anyone to do the research) but it would be interesting to see the completion percentages of the opposing QBs against Atl vs their completion percentages vs all other opponents so far this season

Are they really doing better against the Falcons than against other Defenses

Brees (against all including Atl) 68.4 --- Brees against Atl only 30/39 76.9

Eli (against all including Atl) 66.0----------Eli against Atl only 27/40 67.5

Bradford(against all including Atl) 63.2---Bradford against Atl only 36/52 69.2

these were the top 3

still Brees is the only one you could say had a field day

Brees was averaging 326 yards a game before us...we held him to 312, which was below his average.

Going back to 2010, out the past 11 games vs Brees, this was his 7th best. People are acting like he had a career day. Strange.

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