The Atlanta Falcons face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. Check out these photos from the game.
Falcons to Reset During Bye Week
Atlanta's bye has come at a relatively good time. A number of injured players — including Desmond Trufant and Tevin Coleman — will benefit from the extra rest. The Falcons will also be able to decompress as they prepare for a playoff run. And as head coach Dan Quinn said, everyone will focus on getting better in specific areas.
"As we enter our bye, which is really our midpoint of our season, it's about our honest self-awareness, things we can improve upon," Quinn said. "And that's what we set out to do. As I told the team today, all of us are going to find some things for all of us to improve upon. It's not simply done, but that's exactly what will take place.
"Really, we had said that your body is your business. You take care of your body, and business goes good; if you don't take care of your body, business is not so good. So we made that as a real stress."
Offense Struggled on Third Down
Atlanta moved the chains on just two of 11 third downs in Philly, and that conversion rate, the lowest of the year so far, can be explained in part by the adversity faced on earlier snaps. According to Quinn, nine of Atlanta's third down chances were seven or more yards from the first down marker.
"Our inability to create some of the third downs that were shorter I think was a real factor in this game," Quinn said. "We came in knowing they play well in that seven- to 10(-yard) neighborhood like a lot of defenses do. And I think we had nine or 10 of those that were of the long-yards variety. So, long story longer, we better play better on third down and continue some of these drives. That's what we're equipped to do, and that'll allow the run game to take off like we like."
Quinn Pleased with Ball-Hawking Mentality
Vic Beasley Jr. Jr. and Keanu Neal each forced a fumble on Sunday, and the ball Beasley knocked loose was scooped up by Atlanta for a key turnover. After Darren Sproles caught a short throw late in the second quarter, De'Vondre Campbell was initially credited with a forced fumble, as well, but an official review overturned the call and determined the pass was incomplete.
The Falcons now have a league-high 12 FFs in 2016, per NFL Game Stats and Information.
"I am pleased with our ball-hawking," Quinn said. "Our attitude of going for the ball, playing physical and knocking the ball off of people, that part is coming to life. We haven't had as many interceptions as I'd like, but in terms of the ball-hawking mentality, they're gaining on that.
"(Forcing fumbles), for us, that's a really important part of what we do. Our offense has done a much better job of taking care of it, but defensively, in terms of training and going after it every day, that's a big factor too. I know Keanu and Vic separately have both have a real impact that way. … We know that gives us the best chance to play really good defense."