By Nick Shook
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2016 turned to 2017 in January, and with it, we went from the year of the Cowboys Revival, to the rise — I mean, #RiseUp — of the Falcons.
Atlanta’s high-flying offense has been the toast of the town and the talk of the league since the Falcons dismantled Seattle and Green Bay in startling fashion in the playoffs. For those who’d watched the Falcons all year, it came as no surprise. But what about Atlanta’s defense?
Early in 2016, it was seen as a liability. Dan Quinn was brought in with a defense-first approach, but due to an infusion of youth and some injury hangups, his changes had yet to take effect on the field. Atlanta gave up 31, 28, 32 and 33 points in its first four games, but thanks to the aforementioned offensive prowess, emerged with a 3-1 mark. Come Week 5, the defense started to figure it out, shutting down Denver in a 23-16 win. Continue reading