Hot seat: Can the newfound pass rush get to Jay Cutler?


The Falcons’ defense has started a nice little streak.

The pass-rushing committee has recorded a sack in 19 consecutive games and will put that streak on the line against Miami at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In their most recent outing, against Buffalo, the Falcons had three sacks and two quarterback hits. It was the eighth consecutive game that the defense had two or more sacks in a game.

The Falcons, who could get sackmaster Vic Beasley back from a hamstring strain/tear, have 12 sacks and 26 quarterback hits this season. Brooks Reed leads the team with three sacks and is tied for the lead in quarterback hits with Adrian Clayborn with four each.

Beasley, who missed the past two games, has two sacks and two hits. He led the NFL in sacks with 15.5 last season. Rookie Takkarist McKinley has a sack and three quarterback hits.

The Falcons believe they can turn the heat up higher.

“It depends sometimes on the down-and-distance, but you’re right. I think you look maybe on first down there might have been one sack, and I think on second down only two for the year,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said.

The Dolphins have given up 10 sacks this season.

“What we really focus on is affecting the quarterback, and can you move him off his spot in those 2.5 seconds?,” Quinn said. “Can you get a shot on him? Get a hit on him. Get him to move because that’s really what we’re trying to do; to get that guy to feel uncomfortable.”

Cutler hasn’t been holding the ball long and has rarely taken shots down the field. 

“Some of those plays, they’ve been for years an excellent screen team,” Quinn said. “So, you can imagine how fast a screen comes out if you throw 15, 18 screens in four games.”


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