Falcons Nerdy Birdz: Why Falcons fans should be rooting for Bruce Irvin to get a sack vs. the Ravens

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons (4-7) are back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face the Baltimore Ravens (6-5) on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Here are four key stats on defensive end Bruce Irvin heading into that crucial Week 13 matchup:

1. Home sweet home: Irvin has played 101 games (75 starts), totaling 258 tackles, including 51 for a loss, 50.0 sacks, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in seven years in the NFL. He was originally drafted in the first round (15th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 before signing with the Oakland Raiders as an unrestricted free agent on March 10, 2016. On Nov. 5, 2018, the Raiders cut the seven-year veteran and Irvin only had one dream: to play for the Atlanta Falcons in his hometown.

2. A December to remember: As the Falcons get ready to play their first game in the month of December, this is Irvin's time to shine. Why? The defensive end has made the most in the later portion of the season and since 2016, Irvin is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the NFL in the month of December. The Atlanta-native has tallied 6.5 sacks in December since 2016, trailing Lions' Ezekiel Ansah (9.0), Chargers' Joey Bosa (7.0) and Rams' Aaron Donald (7.0). Will Sunday be the day he gets his first sack as a Falcon?

3. Sack and win: Since 2012, Irvin has totaled 40.0 sacks, the 32nd-most in the NFL in that span. When he gets to the quarterback, however, the odds of winning go up. In his career, teams are 25-10 when Irvin finds his way to the quarterback in the backfield. There is a high-probability that rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is starting for the Ravens this Sunday, his third start of the season. In the last two games, Jackson was sacked four times and in the last four games, the Ravens offensive line has allowed 8.0 sacks.

4. #MyCauseMyCleats: For the third year in a row, over 800 players will participate in My Cause, MY Cleats campaign for a chance to focus on a cause that is meaningful to them. Irvin will be showcasing his cleats on Sunday's game and representing the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Look out for Irvin's and 16 other Atlanta Falcons wearing decked out cleats this Sunday.

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