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Vic Beasley-Takkarist McKinley sack-less streak continues as Falcons lose again


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https://theathletic.com/1308851/2019/10/20/vic-beasley-takk-mckinley-sack-less-streak-continues-as-falcons-lose-again/

 

It was another week without a sack for the Atlanta Falcons. Of the 38 pass plays the Los Angeles Rams called, the Falcons’ rushers were unable to bring down quarterback Jared Goff — or punter Johnny Hekker, for that matter, on his lone attempt. After recording zero quarterback hits a week ago, Atlanta hit Goff only three times.

The Falcons’ defensive front shouldn’t bear the entire burden. Atlanta’s coverage has been dreadful this year, which certainly has contributed to the pass-rushing woes. Opposing quarterbacks have been able to get rid of the ball quickly, a lot of times in three seconds or less. The Rams did a good job moving the pocket Sunday, which kept former first-round picks Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley from getting to him in a 37-10 loss.

And, of course, that’s the problem. This team spent first-round picks on Beasley (2015) and McKinley (2017) specifically to get after the passer. For the season, the two have combined for two sacks — Beasley with 1 1/2 and McKinley with a half-sack. In fact, the last sack the Falcons recorded came when both players shared one in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.

That means Atlanta has gone four consecutive games without one.

Against the Rams, McKinley hit Goff twice and felt like he came close to bringing him down before the pass got off. Beasley recorded two tackles without a quarterback hit.

For head coach Dan Quinn’s defense to work, the front has to apply pressure to force underneath throws that go for little to no gain. The coverage and defensive line failing to work in unison has been a problem all year.

“I feel like I let him down,” Beasley said of Quinn. “He makes great calls. We just have to execute, man. The touchdown (from Goff to Todd Gurley), that was on me. We just have to execute. We need to fight for Q. He’s making good calls. It’s us — we have to execute.”

Said McKinley: “The coaches have nothing to do with how we’re playing. They put us in great situations to go out there and perform. It’s just up to the players to do it. We just have to find a way.”

Admirable as that might sound, the NFL is a results-based business. Quinn’s job is in serious jeopardy because the Falcons are now 1-6 with four losses by double-digits. The defense, which is Quinn’s specialty, has been statistically among the NFL’s worst. While the players aren’t executing, the coaches have to figure out a way to fix this.

It’s not necessarily a fix, but in the minds of Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, one thing to do at this point might be to trade Beasley. On Friday evening, an ESPN report surfaced suggesting the Falcons are willing to trade Beasley, who is playing on his fifth-year option from his rookie contract.

Asked if he was aware of this, Beasley nodded and seemed solemn about the possibility of being dealt. He said he didn’t ask to be traded.

“If they feel that is what’s needed, then I understand,” Beasley said. “As long as I’m here, I’m going to continue to try to help this team win games.”

With his defense struggling and without revealing names, Quinn said assistants have dabbled in some defensive play-calling over the past two weeks. Of course, the results were still to allow 34 and 37 points, respectively, against Arizona and the Rams.

“My job is to look at the big picture and see if there’s things we can do to change that,” Quinn said. “We actually started some of that during Arizona last week. I’m always looking to see during the game who can help on the play-calling, and we distributed some of that in Arizona and this week, as well. I’m always looking to do what’s best for the team in every situation at every time. We’ve already begun some of that: ‘How can I apply myself in other ways?’”

Whatever adjustment Quinn focuses on from here might not matter at this point. This was a team many expected to be poised for a playoff run before the season began. Now, everyone, on the inside and out, is wondering just how this defense has turned into perhaps the worst unit in the entire NFL.

And while it would be easy to say the Miami Dolphins are still worse than the Falcons, take this into account: The Dolphins recorded two sacks in their loss Sunday to the Buffalo Bills. This means the Falcons are now dead last in the NFL with only five sacks.

“Me personally, I’m getting there. I’m doing 90 percent of the work, but the other 10, you gotta bring him down,” McKinley said. “Even last week against Kyler Murray, he’s a running quarterback — he can escape. I had opportunities to get him and just didn’t bring him down. That’s on me to finish it. Not just reach and hope for the best.”

Said Beasley, “It just ain’t happening for us right now.”

Of course, the lack of a pass rush isn’t the only thing that has hampered this year’s team. The coverage has allowed many teams going through their own issues to feel better about themselves. Goff, who tallied only 78 passing yards last week against the San Francisco 49ers, threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Murray was lights out against Atlanta last week. Marcus Mariota, who has since been benched, lit up the secondary when the Falcons lost to the Tennessee Titans.

Atlanta’s offensive line, which features a rookie first-rounder at right tackle and two free agents on the interior, struggled mightily Sunday. The Rams collected five sacks and hit Matt Ryan an additional nine times. Ryan, beat up throughout the game, ended up suffering an ankle injury on the fifth sack. The offense, which has moved the ball the past two weeks, mustered only 224 total yards.

No player to this point has a great explanation as to why this once-promising team is now 1-6. At the same time, the end result speaks for itself.

“I ain’t gonna lie. You don’t come into the game thinking, ‘****, we’re about to get our *** beat,’” McKinley said. “We practice hard. DQ helps the players take care of their bodies. At the end of the day, it’s on us. We have enough talent in this room to win games. We need to reflect in the mirror, look at ourselves, do better and do more.”

 

 

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2 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

I was told I was being disrespectful for talking about the negatives in Vic's play. Guy was standing around watching plays develop and I wasn't supposed to say anything lol. 

I wonder how so many neglect Takks bad play. It seems someone else always did it

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3 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

I wonder how so many neglect Takks bad play. It seems someone else always did it

Both have been ***. Takk's only positive is that it looks like he's going all out because he runs like a wild man but that doesn't equate to anything when you aren't producing results in the end

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2 minutes ago, ya_boi_j said:

Both have been ***. Takk's only positive is that it looks like he's going all out because he runs like a wild man but that doesn't equate to anything when you aren't producing results in the end

Takk is fine tho. He's doing everything on his own. With no coaching or mentor. Think about it. He has no help on the other side of the line and he has no one to teach him anything on the team.

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3 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

I wonder how so many neglect Takks bad play. It seems someone else always did it

The difference is the perceived and very visible effort. Maybe Vic is playing "smarter". Or maybe he just doesn't want it. To me it looks more like the latter. That's just my view. Plus, Takk is still very young. I think we've hit the ceiling on Vic.

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Just now, Flying Falcon said:

Takk is fine tho. He's doing everything on his own. With no coaching or mentor. Think about it. He has no help on the other side of the line and he has no one to teach him anything on the team.

That is true, but he had the same opportunity to get the extra work as Vic. I won't say he did or didn't because he was around for most of the off season activities outside of the time he was excused for personal reasons

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3 minutes ago, since68andcounting said:

The difference is the perceived and very visible effort. Maybe Vic is playing "smarter". Or maybe he just doesn't want it. To me it looks more like the latter. That's just my view. Plus, Takk is still very young. I think we've hit the ceiling on Vic.

Takk is garbage. Hasn’t done anything the whole time he’s been here. Regressed

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6 minutes ago, since68andcounting said:

The difference is the perceived and very visible effort. Maybe Vic is playing "smarter". Or maybe he just doesn't want it. To me it looks more like the latter. That's just my view. Plus, Takk is still very young. I think we've hit the ceiling on Vic.

What? For 5 years he's playing smarter? He didnt want it for 5 years?

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3 minutes ago, Knight of God said:

Takk is garbage. Hasn’t done anything the whole time he’s been here. Regressed

Regressed from what? In order to regress, you have to be somewhere ahead to go back from. He didnt have the mentorship Vic had with Irvin or Abraham or whoever. Takk is learning on his own from a lost DC and no help from any other DE that can teach him any moves. Takk started at 0 and he's still there. That's coaching and team's fault. 

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I was called out for saying, our edge players are trash. I stick to it, Vic is inconsistent and doesn’t have the dog. He has high ceiling and may be Falcons get something for him in trade. 
Takk is your average guy, max 6-8 sack guy.  They should have made some trades at DE. But DQ bet the farm on him coaching up the guys. 

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10 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

Regressed from what? In order to regress, you have to be somewhere ahead to go back from. He didnt have the mentorship Vic had with Irvin or Abraham or whoever. Takk is learning on his own from a lost DC and no help from any other DE that can teach him any moves. Takk started at 0 and he's still there. That's coaching and team's fault. 

That shows his entire skill level is 3rd and 4th round

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19 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

I was called out for saying, our edge players are trash. I stick to it, Vic is inconsistent and doesn’t have the dog. He has high ceiling and may be Falcons get something for him in trade. 
Takk is your average guy, max 6-8 sack guy.  They should have made some trades at DE. But DQ bet the farm on him coaching up the guys. 

I was as well. Homers don’t want to hear it and some people cling on to the past. **** you got some people that cling on to “ well he finished the season this and that”. **** that stupid ****. I tried to be positive for the sake of not having 100 notifications everytime I log on. Never again buddy. 

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1 hour ago, ya_boi_j said:

I was as well. Homers don’t want to hear it and some people cling on to the past. **** you got some people that cling on to “ well he finished the season this and that”. **** that stupid ****. I tried to be positive for the sake of not having 100 notifications everytime I log on. Never again buddy. 

i agree with both of you no way should either of you get called out takk has been just as worse and people keep saying he is getting pressure but so was beasley and people crucified him cuz he wasnt getting sacks takk is doing the same thing so he should be crucified too

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