Jump to content

Part of reason Falcons defense is playoff-ready? Matt Ryan, offense


fuego
 Share

Recommended Posts

Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- No one is ready to anoint them as the next '85 Bears, but the Atlanta Falcons have made significant strides on defense heading toward the playoffs.

There is a variety of reasons why the Falcons have enjoyed defensive success, even without top defender Desmond Trufant (pectoral surgery) on the field: the emergence of pass-rusher Vic Beasley Jr., the natural progression of the rookies, spirited coaching, improved overall speed, better communication and uninspired opponents.

However, free safety Ricardo Allen had an interesting take on why the defense is playoff-ready. "Really, it's because we go against the best offense around every week," Allen said, referring to practice sessions against Matt RyanJulio Jonesand the league's top-scoring offense at 33.5 points per game. "We've got like crazy matchups. We've got a [one vs. one] competition period every day for about five plays.

"When you go against our offense, it's like they have so much of a wide range of stuff that you can't double-team anybody. You're not really trying to focus on matchups and all that type of stuff, because who do you really guard? Yes, Julio. We know that. But what about [Devonta] Freeman? What about [Taylor] Gabriel? What about [Mohamed] Sanu? What about Nick Williams? What about the tight ends? We've just got problems everywhere."

Allen couldn't pinpoint one specific day or moment that was more competitive than any other throughout the season. The coaches throw out unexpected down-and-distance scenarios during those five-play sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

"Going against the offense in the red zone, that's one of the competition periods that, as a defense, we try to take a lot of pride in because they're the best scoring offense in the league," Allen said. "One day it might be first down. One day it might be third down. Then it's red zone. We don't know what situation is going to be.

"We go out there and compete against them, but we know that's not going to be our [game plan] focus of the week. It gets you right, because they're really **** good. It takes us to another level, because our offense has everything."

Beasley, who leads the league with 14.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, agreed with Allen's assessment of practicing against the Atlanta offense. "It helps tremendously," Beasley said. "It helps you see the talent that you have when you put the best players against the best players. That gets us ready each and every week."

So how many of those battles have the defense won? "It fluctuates," Beasley said. "It's 50-50 every time we go out there."

Maybe those situations against Ryan and company will have the defense better prepared to face Drew Brees and the Saints, who bring the league's second-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points per game) to the Georgia Dome this Sunday. Creating a turnover here and there would be key, and the Falcons enter the game tied for third in the league with a plus-3 turnover ratio.

Ryan was asked about Allen and Beasley crediting those practice sessions as a reason for the defensive improvement. "I think we both benefit from those," Ryan said. "At the end of the day, competition in the most important thing we can train. You train how competitive can you get, how tough can you get in those situations. And Dan [Quinn] does a great job of putting us in those situations at different times throughout the week.

"It's kind of like a game, too. Sometimes with practice, you kind of know the looks you're going to get, what you're working against. The competition periods are a little bit 'All right, we haven't prepared for this. How well do we know our rules? How well are we able to adapt to something that we haven't seen?' From schematic standpoint and a player standpoint, I think that really prepares you for games."

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/24495/part-of-reason-falcons-defense-playoff-ready-matt-ryan-offense

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, fuego said:

However, free safety Ricardo Allen had an interesting take on why the defense is playoff-ready. "Really, it's because we go against the best offense around every week," Allen said, referring to practice sessions against Matt RyanJulio Jonesand the league's top-scoring offense at 33.5 points per game. "We've got like crazy matchups. We've got a [one vs. one] competition period every day for about five plays.

Get some!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, FalconsFanNW said:

The team is peaking at the right time and I'm actually confident in the D being able to stop someone.  Didn't feel this good in 2010 or 2012...  can't say I did in 1998 either because I was terrified of Minnesota.  LOL

I feel really good about this Falcons team.  Quinn will have them ready.

You should be. The most points they've given up since the bye is 19.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

You should be. The most points they've given up since the bye is 19.

The only downside is they really haven't face a really strong O since the bye, although KC looked really good last week on O... so who knows.

But if they keep the Saints under 20 points, then the rest of the NFL should be very scared because the O IS going to score.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, ghoticov said:

The only downside is they really haven't face a really strong O since the bye, although KC looked really good last week on O... so who knows.

But if they keep the Saints under 20 points, then the rest of the NFL should be very scared because the O IS going to score.

Arizona is a good O. Top 10 actually.   Since the Falcons' game, they have averaged 34 pts per game.  We have to stop thinking that this is a mirage.  The defense used to give up points to bad offenses.   Now they are stifling middle of the pack offenses.  That's all we as fans need with our offense being so great. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...