You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Falcons use ‘spies’ to corral Russell Wilson


The Falcons were concerned about Russell Wilson sneaking out of the pocket to make plays, so defenders took turns “spying” on the elusive quarterback Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

“He can get off the spot and run,” Falcons safety Keanu Neal said. “He’s dangerous. We had a few plays where we would spy on him a little bit.”

It was an effective strategy for the Falcons, especially in the second half of their 36-20 victory in an NFC divisional playoff game.

Several times Wilson escaped the initial surge of the Falcons’ pass rush only to be forced to throw the ball away when the “spy” chased him down outside of the pocket. Wilson dropped back to pass 38 times, and the Falcons had three sacks, seven hits and (unofficially) 17 hurries.

Falcons players who spied Wilson included Neal, Jonathan Babineaux, De’Vondre Campbell, Brooks Reed and Vic Beasley.

“We tried to get him to beat us with his arm,” Beasley said. “He was able to make plays. You’ve got to give him credit. He’s a good quarterback. He’s going to make plays here and there. But I think we got him off the spot enough to frustrate him a little bit.”

Wilson was 17-of-30 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 49 yards on six carries, with a long of 14.

The Falcons had trouble getting a handle on Wilson early in the game. When they rushed him hard from the inside, Wilson scooted to the outside. When the Falcons aggressively rushed Wilson on the outside, he found running lanes in the middle.

The Falcons did a better job corralling Wilson after halftime. He was 9-for-21 for 133 yards passing in the second half. Wilson had completions of 40 yards to Paul Richardson and a 31-yard TD pass to Doug Baldwin, but the Seahawks were in a big hole by then.

“I think we did a great job,” Neal said. “He got a few plays on us, but that’s part of the game. You get up and move on and focus on the next. He’s an awesome quarterback, and we held our own this game.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Will diluted urine tests shake up NFL draft?
Will diluted urine tests shake up NFL draft?

Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers and Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster, who are both projected to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, have flunked their NFL drug test for having diluted urine. Peppers’ agents contend that he was heavily hydrating, drinking eight to 10 bottles of water a day, at the combine because he flew in from San...
5 players on the Falcons’ radar screen
5 players on the Falcons’ radar screen

For the Falcons’ personnel men, this time of the year is like Christmas. Some of the scouts have been on the road for about 200 days trying to find more talent for the defending NFC champions. With all of the information gathered, the Falcons are considering their options heading into the NFL draft, which runs Thursday through Sunday in Philadelphia...
Falcons exercise 5th-year option on Matthews
Falcons exercise 5th-year option on Matthews

The team exercised the fifth-year option on left tackle Jake Matthews on Tuesday. Matthews, who was selected sixth in the first round of the 2014 draft, has played in 47 regular-season games, all starts. He missed one game his rookie season. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said after the pre-draft news conference Thursday that the team planned...
On this day, Falcons history changed with discovery of Michael Vick’s dogs
On this day, Falcons history changed with discovery of Michael Vick’s dogs

On April 25, 2007, the unimaginable happened. A drug investigation involving a cousin of Michael Vick led authorities to a residence in Virginia owned by the Atlanta Falcons quarterback. What they discovered was animal neglect. Police found about dozens of dogs, some heavily scarred, and various paraphernalia associated with dog fighting...
Several Georgia grown players ready for NFL draft
Several Georgia grown players ready for NFL draft

About a month ago, general manager Thomas Dimitroff asked Steve Szabo, the team’s director of college scouting, to come into his office and mark up the entire draft board. “We asked him about all of the guys who were Georgia natives,” Dimitroff said. “It was pretty neat to see how much talent was on that board from this state...
More Stories