On the hot seat: Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley

Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees during the first half Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Atlanta.
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Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) sacks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees during the first half Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Atlanta.

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

Former All-Pro is looking for his first sack of the season

(On the hot seat is about the player who needs to have a good game.) 

The Falcons (1-1) hope to discover their pass rush when they face the Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Falcons haven't mounted much of a pass rush this season, and defensive end Takk McKinley, who's tied for the team lead with two sacks, will be slowed by a groin injury if he plays.

Also, reserve Derrick Shelby has a groin injury.

» More: Rash of injuries tests Falcons' roster depth

  

Vic Beasley, who’s been dropping into coverage and standing at the line of scrimmage and had spy duties last week against running Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, doesn’t have a sack this season. He has one tackle and two assists and no quarterback hits.

The Falcons were standing up Beasley and McKinley on some plays against the Panthers. McKinley got his sack while rushing from a stand-up position.

The Falcons also bounced between four- and five-man fronts. They even jumbled the players.

They had McKinley at left end, Beasley left tackle, Grady Jarrett at right tackle and Jack Crawford at right end on third-and-15 from Carolina’s 31 at the 2-minute mark of the second quarter.

» Also: Falcons seek better pass rush from defensive line 

"You're constantly trying to give different looks, and anytime you can create a level of confusion or even just slow down the process, a good quarterback has to see what you are doing and how you are protecting," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Those are things that come up a lot of times on third down. We got hit with a couple pressures last week against Cleveland where we were one man short. It's part of the deal I guess." 

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