Double-digit sacks for Falcons’ Beasley

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Soon after the Falcons selected Vic Beasley with the No. 8 overall pick in 2015 draft, the former Clemson pass rusher boldly predicted he would have at least 10 sacks as a rookie. Beasley had a solid first season as a pro he didn’t come close to reaching that goal.

He only needed 12 games to reach that mark in what’s shaping up to be a standout second season.

Beasley’s sack of the Chiefs’ Alex Smith on Sunday gave him 10.5 for the season. He also forced a fumble on the play, his fifth of the season.

Beasley has a chance to finish the season with the NFL lead in sacks and forced fumbles. Entering Week 13, Beasley’s 9.5 sacks ranked third behind Von Miller (12.5) and three players tied with 10 and his four forced fumbles were tied for most in the NFL with teammate Keanu Neal and three other defenders.

“I feel like I’ making a lot of strides as a pass rusher and as a run stopper,” Beasley said. “Just learning from (teammate Dwight) Freeney and executing the game plan the coaches present every week. I go out there and do what I can to help the team get a win.”

Beasley showed superlative quickness and effort on his sack of Smith, who was trying to pass on third-and-3 from the Falcons’ 39-yard line in the first quarter.

Beasley beat Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz around the corner and reached out to grab Smith around his legs. Smith shook free from that tackle attempt and stepped to his left as Beasley recovered and got back in the play. Smith cocked his arm to throw as Beasley arrived and knocked the ball free, and Falcons tackle Grady Jarrett recovered the ball at the 43-yard line.

“I just kept playing,” Beasley said. “I was able to get back up and he still had it in his hands.”

Beasley is the first Falcons player with at least 10 sacks since John Abraham had 10 in 2012.