NFL Wire News

Falcons need help for their pass rush


The Sports Xchange

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Bryan Cox have been working with the team’s defensive linemen with a goal of improving the pass rush. Through six games, it has been anemic.

It’s perhaps time for defensive coordinator Richard Smith to start dialing up some blitzes. The Falcons have seven sacks through six games.

–The Saints were able to open a quick 14-0 lead after linebacker Michael Mauti sliced through the middle of the Falcons’ punt protection and blocked a Matt Bosher punt. He recovered it for the score.

Saints fans immediately flashed back to the post-Hurricane Katrina punt block by Steve Gleason against the Falcons in 2006.

–Both running backs, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, were productive.

Coleman, who is recovering from a fractured rib, killed a drive with a fumble after rumbling for 17 yards in the second quarter. Saints cornerback Brandon Browner recovered at the Saints’ 9-yard line.

With the Falcons trying to work Coleman and Freeman into the attack, the offense may have had some rhythm issues.

Freeman had 13 rushes for 100 total yards and caught eight pass for 56 yards. He had a touchdown run of 25 yards and a 13-yard touchdown reception.

–It might be time to sit down wide receiver Julio Jones and let his hamstring heal.

He clearly doesn’t have the explosion that he displayed early in the season. The Falcons will get some time as they have a 10-day break before facing the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 25.

Jones caught six passes for 93 yards against New Orleans.

Notes: Linebacker Justin Durant missed his second game with a left elbow injury. He was replaced by Joplo Bartu and Nate Stupar. Quinn hopes he can return to practice before the Titans game. … Center Mike Person, who missed the game because of an ankle sprain, was replaced in the lineup by James Stone, who had a botched snap on a key third-down situation. The Falcons lost the ball when he snapped it, while quarterback Matt Ryan was in shotgun formation. Quinn hopes that he can return to practice next week. … Wide receiver Roddy White caught three of four targets for 23 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown. He beat Brandon Browner in man coverage for the touchdown. It was his first receiving touchdown of the season. The touchdown extended White’s franchise record to 63 career touchdowns. The score was also White’s ninth career touchdown reception against the Saints.

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