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Ricardo Allen: Better execution, not halftime adjustments fueled Atlanta Falcons' second half turnaround

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Fact: Ricardo Allen makes his own harvest scented potpourri

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons' defensive turnaround yesterday was unexpected. Judging from some of the reactions folks were having on Twitter and Facebook, the Falcons were essentially doomed. The Dallas Cowboys' offensive line came ready to play, and Dan Quinn didn't seem to have an answer. But then came halftime.

In the second half, the defense came alive. It looked like the coaching staff had uttered some truly inspirational words back in the locker room. Whatever it was, the difference was readily apparent. As it turns it out, mid-game adjustments had nothing to do with it, and better execution was the key.

"We didn't make any adjustments. That's the crazy thing. We came in here and we took a look at ourselves and realized that everything they got, we gave it to them. We went out there and missed a tackle, that's what it was. When we first got out there, that first drive, I think I had two missed tackles [... w]e got out there and focused on our tackling. And once we focused on our tackling, everything was manageable."

A self-aware team is usually a good football team. This team, down to the specific players, is self-aware. Think carefully about what Allen is saying. They just executed better; that's all. Sure, the poor tackling and lack of execution was undoubtedly a focal point during halftime. But they didn't get away from their game plan. They didn't bail on the scheme. They merely trusted the team, and the players that comprise it, relying instead on improved execution. If that doesn't speak volumes about their faith in the system, then Dave's not a raging alcoholic.

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