They’re only 1-0, but the new and improved Atlanta Falcons are on the right track

Published 5:46 pm Friday, September 18, 2015

When first-year head coach Dan Quinn takes his 1-0 Atlanta Falcons to Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands Sunday to take on the New York Giants, it will be a matchup between two of the top quarterbacks and two of the top wide receivers in the league.

I am talking about Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones and Giants quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckhem, Jr.
Jones, a former University of Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver, caught nine passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons 26-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night at the Georgia Dome. Beckhem, a former LSU Tiger wide receiver, had five receptions for 44 yards in the Giants 27-26 Sunday night loss to the home standing Dallas Cowboys.

A pleasant surprise for the Falcons against the Eagles was running back Tevin Coleman, a third round draft choice out of Indiana University. He had 20 carries for 80 yards and showed the ability to get outside with good speed.

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On defense the Falcons first round draft choice, linebacker Vic Beasley from Clemson, kept good pressure on the Eagles offense throughout the game.

Coach Quinn, former defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks, said the key to good defense is aggressiveness.

“We were aggressive against the Eagles offense all night,” he said after the game. “The Eagles pulled off some big plays on us, but we got some big defensive efforts on key downs to keep in close.”

Falcons fans like myself need to be patient. They might not get back to the playoffs right away, but with Quinn and his staff leading the way, I think they will be there sooner rather than later.

The Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns last season. Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith was linebackers coach with the Denver Broncos the past four seasons. Both have impressive resumes.  Smith’s linebackers have always been known for having speed so Beasley fits comfortably into his system.