A week after Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had the most productive game of their career, Vic Beasley Jr. authored his best NFL performance to date.
The 2015 first-round pick tallied 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two QB hits in Denver, leading a defense that had its most impressive showing of 2016. He notched eight tackles, as well — seven of which were solo, and one of which resulted in a loss of yardage. By applying constant pressure to rookie Paxton Lynch, Beasley, along with his fellow pass-rushers, contained Denver's offense and helped propel the Falcons to a 23-16 win.
And by doing so, Beasley earned the respect of someone he's looked up to for a long time.
"It was a great feeling. Our team came out and played together," Beasley said. "As for myself, I was relentless, and I kept going despite other weeks when I (didn't get a sack). … I was just relentless. I set up my tackle — my opponent — and I used different moves."
Beasley is the first player to reach 3.5 sacks in a single game this year. Additionally, he's the fifth player in team history to post 3.5 or more sacks in a regular season contest. The only Falcon to top that figure is Chuck Smith, who made five sacks on Oct. 12, 1997 in New Orleans.
"The get-off jumped out at me today," head coach Dan Quinn said about Beasley. "He really looked quick off the ball and playing here. We knew it was going to be a good environment, and the speed off the ball was what set him off today."