But it's clear the Falcons are more intent on taking the ball away, running all sorts of blitzes and stunts rather than being content to sit back in zone coverage — a change in philosophy that made even more sense after Brent Grimes, perhaps the best defender in a trio of high-priced cornerbacks, went down with a season-ending injury in Week 1.
Another of those cornerbacks, Dunta Robinson, might be thriving more than anyone in the new system.
Last week, he had one of two interceptions in the closing minutes (DeCoud nabbed the other) to clinch the 24-17 victory over the Redskins. But Robinson is doing a lot more than just dropping back in coverage. He's blitzing. He's coming up to provide support against the run. He's having his best overall season since joining the Falcons in 2010.
"I'm a football player first," said Robinson, who ranks fourth on the team with 27 tackles. "(Nolan) is allowing me to play football. He's allowing me to be part of the run game. He's allowing me to blitz at times. I'm not just a cover corner. I'm not just a guy who sits outside and doesn't have any action all day. I like to get involved in the game. He's doing a great job of getting me involved early in the game. Once that happens, I feel like I can make any play."
Don't forget the guys in the trenches, either.
As Allen said, the Falcons have been getting good pressure on the quarterback, ranking 12th in the league with 13 sacks.
No surprise their defensive backs are playing so well.
"Everything starts up front," linebacker Mike Peterson said. "That's why the guys on the back end have been getting those picks. Apparently, I need to remind those guys on the back end that they can't do their job unless the guys on the front end do theirs."
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