Hot seat: Falcons’ A.J. Terrell has impressive rookie start

Rookie Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell has been on the hot season all season and has been passing with flying colors.

He’ll have to turn in another strong performance Sunday against a talented Detroit receiving corps.

Kenny Golladay, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, is the main weapon. The Lions also have Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and former Falcons wide receiver Marvin Hall.

“They’ve got three receivers, and all three can go,” Falcons defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “All are different and unique. Then you’ve got the fourth receiver in Marvin (Hall) who can take the top off. You have the tight end (T.J. Hockenson) that is playing really, really well.”

The Falcons' pass defense continues to struggle, but Terrell has been a bright light. The Falcons have given up 335.3 yards passing per game, which ranks 31st of 32 teams in the NFL.

Terrell has his first career interception against the Vikings last week.

“He just continues to grow,” Ulbrich said. “When you come into this league and you’re ask to start at corner as a rookie, it can be rough.”

The Falcons cut Desmond Trufant and then drafted Terrell with the 16th overall pick. Trufant signed with Detroit, but has been battling a hamstring injury and is not expected to play in the game, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“You have to learn in the midst of the fire and take your lumps,” Ulbrich said. “I just keep waiting for the big lump with him.”

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Terrell, the former Westlake High and Clemson standout.

“Does he give up passes?” Ulbrich said. “Yes, but everybody is going to give up passes, whether you are rookie or not. It’s the way that he just goes out there and grows every game. He’s playing exceptionally for a rookie.”

The Falcons like that Terrell has a short memory.

“When he does get a ball caught on him, a typical rookie, it would hurt and you could see it in the way they play and their approach to the next play, but he’s got a short memory,” Ulbrich said. “He’s got a veteran’s mindset from that standpoint.”

Falcons' next four games

Lions at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25

Falcons at Panthers at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Broncos at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8

Falcons at Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22

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