The Dan Quinn era has gotten off to an impressive start so far in Atlanta.
The Falcons have started the season 2-0, rallying to win late in each game. Quinn, who took over the Falcons after spending two seasons as the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator, has brought life back to a franchise that had gone 10-22 the past two years.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a defensive play set the stage for the Falcons’ 24-20 come-from-behind win against the New York Giants on Sunday.
Linebacker Kroy Biermann’s strip sack of Eli Manning in the red zone late in the third quarter prevented the Giants from possibly making it a three-possession game going into the fourth quarter.
“Kroy Biermann got it going for us with the sack-fumble in the red area,” quarterback Matt Ryan said.
That kept it a 10-point game, and Ryan and the offense took advantage.
The thing I’m excited about is that we’re finding ways to get it done. That’s what good teams do. You’ve got to find a way to continue to get better and keep moving forward.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan
Ryan found Leonard Hankerson for a 10-yard score early in the fourth quarter to make it a three-point game. Then, with 3:12 left, the Falcons put together the game-winning drive.
Ryan completed four of five passes on the drive for 69 yards, including a 37-yard completion to Julio Jones to put the Falcons at the Giants’ 1. Two plays later, running back Devonta Freeman plowed his way into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
“It feels good,” Ryan said. “Obviously two games into it we’re right where we need to be. There’s been a lot of changes.
“The thing I’m excited about is that we’re finding ways to get it done. That’s what good teams do. You’ve got to find a way to continue to get better and keep moving forward.”
Losing Coleman is a blow for the Falcons, but Freeman had been a contender to win the job before a hamstring injury limited him in training camp.
“I always prepare hard,” Freeman said earlier this week, according to ESPN. “Whatever coaches ask me to do, I’m going to do.”
Julio Jones continues to show why he’s among the elite receivers in the league, and rightfully deserved a five-year, $71 million contract this off-season.
Jones had a career-high 13 catches for 135 yards against the Giants, including the pivotal catch to set up the game-winning score. In the season opener, Jones finished with nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
“Obviously Julio is an unbelievable player,” Ryan said. “You couldn’t ask for a better teammate, a better person in the locker room. He’s constantly trying to be a better teammate, be a better player.”
▪ Rookie linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., a first-round pick, recorded his first sack Sunday, stripping the ball from Manning in the process. Beasley, the eighth overall pick in May’s draft, is the all-time sacks leader at Clemson with 33.
▪ Falcons kicker Matt Bryant made a 42-yarder in the second quarter, and is 4 for 4 from 40-plus yards this season. Bryant has made the fourth-most field goals (153) since 2009.
He said it
“Each week we’re just going to battle as hard as we can. We won’t look too far ahead and not really to what happened in the past — we’re just going to try and stay in the present moment as long as we can and continue to battle for it every week. Our whole goal is to see how good we can get every week.” — Quinn after the victory over the Giants
100The Falcons’ defense hasn’t allowed a team to rush for 100 yards through two games. The Giants had 97 rushing yards Sunday, and the Eagles had 63.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760