The Falcons have been searching for a winning formula for most of the 2019 season.
Finally, against the rival Saints, they came up with four quarters of football.
After getting blown out in most of the first halves of games, being out-scored 144 to 50, the Falcons came out of the bye week and took a 13-6 halftime lead over the Saints.
The Falcons led the entire way in a 26-9 win to move to 2-7.
On Sunday, the Falcons will face the Carolina Panthers (5-4), who trail the Saints (7-2) by two games in the NFC South race.
But was the Saints’ game a fluke or an outlier for a team that went 1-7 and looked disheveled for the first half of the season?
Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who’s juggled around his coaching staff and responsibilities, has scraped some of the 3-4 looks and moved Damontae Kazee back to free safety in the nickel, is hoping the Falcons have some more good football ahead of them.
“One move is actually a domino effect that goes with that,” Quinn said. “One big move – whether it was a coaching thing or a position move for a player – there are other people that are affected.”
Quinn finally revealed that linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich was calling the run defenses and Raheem Morris was calling the pass defenses.
“I thought that was a good start for us, but I anticipate us building on that,” Quinn said. “There is always something you are trying to get better at.”
So, if the Falcons were able to befuddle Saints quarterback Drew Brees, then they should have some success against Carolina’s Kyle Allen, who’s essentially a rookie making his eight start in the NFL.
The Panthers have Allen leaning heavily on running back Chris McCaffrey and wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. Also, tight end Greg Olsen is still a viable option.
“It may be different,” Quinn said. “I would say it is a different style of quarterback, especially in those situations, but utilizing different players in different ways. One guy who still continues to produce at a high level is Olsen, with outbreaking routes and crossing routes.
“He is one that just continues to put out good performance after good performance and is one that certainly has our respect. It is a different offense, especially in some situations, but I would say they were different from 31 others as well in that space.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.