The Falcons defense was simultaneously great and awful in one single game. The defensive line did an amazing job of shutting down Saquon Barkley all game, but also struggled to contain a passing attack that has been pretty terrible all year. This is a frustrating defense that has shown occasional signs of improvement. At minimum, the playing time for many of these young players will only result in them being better depth in the future. For now, though, we celebrate the contributions of the guys below.
How badly did this defense miss Jarrett? His impact was felt immediately and throughout the game. With two sacks and constant pressure up the middle, Grady reminded us why he shouldn’t be overlooked as one of the key cogs in this defense. The team absolutely needs to get him signed up for the long-term, as he’ll be an incredibly important player for years to come.
McKinley is quietly putting together a very strong second season, with 5.5 sacks on the season after just 7 games. He still tends to disappear for stretches, but he’s also shown an incredible ability to deliver in key situations. His potential is exciting and his energy is contagious.
How amazing is it to have someone like Kazee on the bench? The second year player has been a revelation this year and has not only shown a penchant for playing in center field, he’s also become one of the team’s best tacklers. He repeatedly exploded to the ball and helped cover up missed tackles made by some of the guys in front of him. He’s got tremendous potential and has easily been one of the biggest bright spots for this injury ravaged defense.
Fans were excited about Crawford’s potential in 2017, but injuries kept that potential at bay. However, 2018 is starting to show how well he fits in the Quinn defense. Crawford has been an excellent interior pass rusher, netting another sack and bringing his season total up to 2.5. As a rotational interior player, he’s been a pleasant surprise.
Falcons vs Giants: Defensive player of the game
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