As the Falcons look to get their first division win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, head Coach Dan Quinn shared his insight on what Atlanta must do leave the Superdome victorious.
The Ball Is Everything
Quinn's team currently sits even in the turnover ratio on the season, after being plus-1 versus Tampa Bay and minus-1 at Oakland.
"Our turnover margin after two games is zero," Quinn said. "And we are just trying like [crazy] to be in the plus. [The Saints] are plus-2 on the year. That part is really important to us."
As for how Quinn's defense can improve in this category, it boils down to four things:
"We call them rips, strips, bats and picks," Quinn said. "Rips would be like I ripped the ball [out], a strip would be a quarterback strip, a bat [is when] the ball gets tipped up and then [someone] catches it, and then a pick."
As crucial as it for the defense to take the ball away, it's equally, if not more, important for the offense to protect the football.
A big reason to why the Falcons' offense has been successful through their first two games is the constant regard for the football. Besides QB Matt Ryan's one interception, Atlanta has shown well in terms of ball protection. It will be imperative for this to continue on Monday night, especially with the bedlam of noise that comes with playing the in the Superdome.
"Offensively, it's a real consciousness for [the ball], the way you take care of it in traffic and the protection by the offensive line. Those are the things that allow you to play with really good ball security."
Win the Explosive Play Ratio
Each of the Atlanta's games thus far have come down to the number of explosive plays made.
"It's been an area that we need to keep addressing on both sides," Quinn said. "Those long explosive plays we had a number of them last week, offensively. Unfortunately, defensively we let up a few, especially in the run game. We know this is a team that has the fire power to be explosive. "
The Falcons will look to continue their offensive success by spreading the ball around, in turn creating more opportunities for explosive plays.
Saints' QB Drew Brees has weapons in wide receiver Brandin Cooks and tight end Coby Fleener, and Atlanta will look to limit their production.
Communication Must Be on Point
Mercedes-Benz Superdome will be full of energetic fans as Monday's game marks the 10-year anniversary of the first home game after Hurricane Katrina.
Quinn and his players are aware of the expected level of noise and have prepared with this in mind all week.
"It's going to be a loud venue this week," Quinn said. "We have to be able to function exactly like we'd like too, dealing with the crowd noise and then the way we want to attack, that has to be on point. There's lots of experience on our offensive line, and there's lots of experience at quarterback. And they'll allow us to do our thing as long as the non-verbal communication takes place. We're going to have to use silent count and hand signals. We've got really good guys to do that."