Adrian Clayborn has been one of the team’s better defensive linemen for the last couple of seasons, and he’s a former highly regarded draft pick who has some genuinely good years in this league. It’s fair to say that he is capable of terrific games, but if you had asked me before this one if he was capable of putting up six sacks and two forced fumbles in a single game, I would probably have said no. That’s a historic performance, after all.
Make no mistake: What we saw Sunday afternoon from Clayborn was one of the most dominant performances, statistically, in the history of the NFL. It was also easily one of the best defensive efforts we’ve ever seen from a Falcon, both statistically and otherwise. Given a plum matchup against an overmatched backup tackle, Clayborn ate him alive, chased down an alert and quick-footed quarterback, and now has the Atlanta single game record for sacks. There are just not words to describe how well he played, and it was insane to watch in real-time. He destroyed Dallas.
It’s fair to say Clayborn probably won’t have a game like this again in 2017, but he’s the team’s leading sack artist right now, he’s made a case all along for another contract from Atlanta, and he’ll always be in the history books for the Falcons. What an incredible night for Adrian Clayborn.