NFL

Falcons’ D Shows Fortitude

Photo By: Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn loves speaking in short, powerful quotes. Listening to his press conferences it’s obvious. His messages are simple, not complicated and those battle cries are what his players take to the field each game. With Sunday’s goal line stand in Chicago, ‘Quinning’ is back and the Rise Up Revenge Tour has officially begun.

When linebacker Brooks Reed sacked Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon with eight seconds left in the game, sealing Atlanta’s 23-17 victory, Quinn was overjoyed!

“We know we’re all an extension of each other so it’s a team effort for us all the way,” Quinn explained Monday. “It was good to see the pass rush come to life. I think we had some good hits on the quarterback. At the end to have a chance to stand up and battle for it, I could feel the players’ intent and their mindset ready to go. That part was exactly like I hoped it would be.

“They’ve worked hard this off-season in terms of improving in some areas that they wanted to. They improved on third down, and the red zone part for us is going to be an important one.

Sunday’s performance by the Falcons defense was not pretty. It didn’t do much to quiet the skeptics and social media trolls. The Bears ran for 125 yards on 19 carries, highlighted by rookie running back Tarik Cohen’s 113 total yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. His shiftiness, elusiveness and straight-line speed was problematic for Atlanta.

Takk McKinley registered one tackle and assisted on another Sunday.

“In particular, one play where it was a pass that was thrown and he came out of the stack to make a tackle,” Quinn said Monday while rating his performance. “Those are the plays that are really his style. It’s quintessential Takk Mckinley speed, effort, and toughness. We didn’t play as much nickel in this game as we do normally, and I anticipate that his reps will ramp up each week as we go.”

Brian Poole and Deion Jones led the Falcons with 7 total tackles (each player had 6 solo tackles). Devondre Campbell had 6 total tackles. Brooks Reed, Keanu Neal and rookie Duke Riley had 5 tackles each.

Having to be challenged at the end of the game for it right off the bat, I told you I was ready for some of those lessons to come through,” Quinn said. “You don’t really have the answers until you’re in them again. It was nice to have those guys battle for it right there at the end, and it was certainly an exciting way to end it.

Photos in this article are from the Chicago Tribune

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