Atlanta Falcons: Secondary puts Manning on his heels

Falcons safety William Moore chases down Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for a sack during Monday night's 27-21 victory.

Falcons safety William Moore chases down Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for a sack during Monday night's 27-21 victory. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Vivlamore reporting from the Georgia Dome following the Falcons 27-21 Monday Night win over the Broncos.

Peyton Manning’s first pass was almost intercepted by the Falcons. That was the good news for the Broncos.

The Falcons’ much-maligned secondary made a prime time statement Monday night that this year could be different. The unit propelled the Falcons to a 27-21 victory over the Broncos at the Georgia Dome.

Here is how bad it was for Manning:

* Two plays after that initial attempt, the Broncos’ first drive ended when safety William Moore picked off a third-down pass.

* Three plays into the Broncos’ second possession and safety Thomas DeCoud ended the drive with an interception.

* Six plays into their third possession and cornerback Robert McClain ended the drive with an interception.

* After their fourth possession ended after four plays and a punt, the Broncos fumbled on the third play of their fifth drive.

Safety Thomas DeCoud reacts after his first-quarter interception. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Safety Thomas DeCoud reacts after his first-quarter interception. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Ouch. Four of the Broncos’ first five possessions turned into three interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Falcons and a 13-point lead early in the second quarter.

“I think we were holding our disguises,” DeCoud said. “We were kind of confusing [Manning] a bit. I was kind of surprised that we had him on his heels. He usually has defenses on their heels. We stepped up with it and stayed the course.

“When you go up against a quarterback of the quality of Peyton Manning and you play well like we did I think it is a statement. You can go out and have one of the best quarterbacks in the game reeling a little bit and kind of on his heels, I think it does make a statement as far as the talent that we have.”

The Falcons defense needed a statement. It was 20th in the NFL against the past last season, allowing 236.6 yards per game.

The Falcons defense beat up Manning and the Broncos with a depleted secondary. Cornerback Asante Samuel missed a first-quarter series with a neck injury. Nickel back Christopher Owens, playing for Brent Grimes who was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon in the season-opener, left the game with a head injury in the first quarter and did not return. Owens was replaced by Dominique Franks, who was waived as part of the final roster cut down to 53 players and then signed again following the Grimes’ injury.

“Hopefully it makes a big statement throughout the league,” said Moore, who had a huge game. “I wouldn’t say we were underestimated or underrated but I feel like we went out there and did our job. We went out there and played some football against, I would say, the best quarterback in the National Football League right now. It was excellent for our secondary. We haven’t been together long with Asante coming in, Brent Grimes down. We stepped up man.”

“Moore nearly had another interception and broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Demaryius Thomas. He also had a sack of Manning, on third down with less than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, which halted a drive as the Broncos mounted a comeback when the Falcons offense stalled.

“I watched him growing up,” Moore said. “That was my first time playing him. I hope he remembers No. 25.”

The Falcons played nearly the entire game in their nickel package with an extra defensive back. They didn’t run their first – and only – play from a base defense until stopping the Broncos on a third-and-one with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The secondary is excelling under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. In particular, the hybrid safety tandem of Moore and DeCoud has made an impact. The Falcons have five interceptions after two games, three by the safeties.

“It proves that when we need to play big, when we play against a good quarterback, we can get it done,” DeCoud said.

- Chris Vivlamore

63 comments Add your comment

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:30 am

DeCoud is a clown… I will compliment Moore, it was his best game since coming into the league by far…

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:33 am

JSS is a Clown

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:34 am

go back to NO BOZO

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:35 am

this is OUR HOUSE punks.

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:36 am

New Orleans is full of gay clowns.

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:37 am

Tired of your sarcastic ignorant trash JSS.

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:41 am

Where is your little split personality “CHOKE’ ?

matty "ICE" ryan

September 18th, 2012
1:42 am

JSS went to bed with his bronco.

Left Coast Dawg

September 18th, 2012
1:48 am

Best game by a Falcon secondary since the Jerry Glanville days.

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:48 am

If you stopped trying to flood the blog with your cow dung, you might find all of the folks you are supposedly out… Put the liquor down, you’re trying to grow a set that don’t exist with a limited vocabulary and absolutely no restraint in fake multiple user-names…

Left Coast Dawg

September 18th, 2012
1:51 am

If Moore and DeCoud play like that all year, we will be just fine. Also, hopefully Owens passes the concussion tests to resume playing next week. We will need him against Rivers.

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:52 am

Idiot MIR is going to wake up in the morning with Monkey’s Butt tatoo’ed on his face… They can call it ‘Dumbover, Part I’

Left Coast Dawg

September 18th, 2012
1:52 am

Doesn’t not don’t @ JSS

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:53 am

Left Coast Dawg

September 18th, 2012
1:54 am

…..gonna leave you two alone to resolve your lovers quarrel.

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:55 am

I have to write the lexicon that the drunk will understand…

JSS

September 18th, 2012
1:56 am

Lover my behind…

iron head

September 18th, 2012
4:40 am

The o-line did an outstanding job. Baker is playing lights out; Ray Edwards looked horrible no push or containment. Father time has caught Turner he was unable to hit holes we need help at running back. Lastly with four turnovers Ryan and company need to score td,s

iron head

September 18th, 2012
4:49 am

Also if D-Davis wants to day in the league he needs to be next to Ryan or at least looking over his shoulder. Yes I know he was inactive but thats not an excuse I have seen plenty of players not dressed for the game next to the starters.

Lmao...2-0 and NO SB Ring

September 18th, 2012
5:48 am

No SB ring…no playoff win…FAILCANTS remain loosahs….saints > failcants

redcoat

September 18th, 2012
6:20 am

Lmao……….you got the past…….but what are the saints now…….0 – 2?………and laughing?

Jimmy

September 18th, 2012
7:00 am

Great win, but the Falcons have 14 more games to find a running game, or they won’t make it far in the playoffs. ESPN opened up their broadcast w/ “The Devil Came Down to Georgia,” well I think he made a deal w/ Michael Turner and he’s collecting this season. I’ve never seen a power back’s production fall so quickly. Didn’t he have like 1400 yards last season? Minus that 15 yard run to ice the game the running game was horrible.

But, I’ll take 2-0 anyday of the week. Sure beats 0-2 while STILL talking trash on an opponents blog, like certain posters.

Poobah

September 18th, 2012
7:15 am

JSS’ face looks like a monkey butt!

Clown called jss

September 18th, 2012
7:51 am

Check my name it says it all!

suggs

September 18th, 2012
8:19 am

Great win by the Falcons, but why in the hell is Dominic Franks still on the team this morning? At the very least, why is he returning punts? Or should I say, watching them roll down inside the five yard line time and time again?

FalconFANatic

September 18th, 2012
8:40 am

Lmao–you make me laugh! Is that Super Bowl Ring gonna win the aints a game this year? Just wondering…GO FALCONS ITS OUR TIME!

I usually just read but...

September 18th, 2012
8:49 am

Moore was on fire and DeCoud played very good also. I never dreamed the secondary, without Grimes, would give Manning so much trouble. What a WIN!!

kew

September 18th, 2012
9:26 am

Michael Turner was arrested early this morning for driveing under the influrence….WHAT IS HE THINKING!!!!

kew

September 18th, 2012
9:27 am

Sorry I meant “driving”

Dirtybird of Prey

September 18th, 2012
9:51 am

usually just read……I just read on these blog too and I have to agree with u…..the defense was on fire.

Damage Inc.

September 18th, 2012
10:06 am

Don’t hate on JSS. He’s just a Petrino fan.

I usually just read but...

September 18th, 2012
10:17 am

Dirtybird
Hope Denver held on to Tebows’ fone #. hahaha.

cb795

September 18th, 2012
10:22 am

GA has DUI and WUI laws on the books, maybe we should have RUI as well. Then the Police can pull him over in the games after those -2 yards runs since Smith won’t pull him!

*Frederick(Bailey)Douglass*

September 18th, 2012
10:29 am

Great game plan defensively. Interesting…last year on MNF Gruden noted that we were “vanilla” and that QBs could read our coverage at the snap count. Not any more my brother…and #54 and #56 are HITMEN. We should get #52 Dent some experience so by the end of the year we have three linebackers rotating in and out, flying all over the field.

Situate Turner to the back of the bench. Only use him on goal line and short yardage situations. No burst…no nothing. Tried to fumble the game away too. He is still needed, but the Falcons should start a process of moving away from is diminishing skill set.

More later in the week…BIG GAME for the DEFENSE!!

FBD

Dirtybird of Prey

September 18th, 2012
11:10 am

Yo Usually Just Read I doubt Tebow would go back ha ha…….besides…I don’t think it would had mattered who was the ob 4 denver last nite….D-Block was smokin’……I have 2 admit that when Asante went down I got worried…then McClain snatches one then I realize….wait bvg is not then DC no more….we got a real DC who can coach…..Go DirtyBirdz….Rise up cuz we 2 legit 2 quit.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:06 pm

What was that idiot Coach John fox doing all night …………………man oh man………..I had to listen to the game on radio and they were saying he should have been drawing penalties for being on the field………………that was one wild game last night

Hey Falcon Faithful…………….that 2 – 0 looks terrific huh ?……………..ha ! ha ! ha !………………..

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
12:13 pm

2 and 0 Baby!!! And the Saint are still Oh-Fur!!! LMAO!!

But on a serious note. I heard this morning that the Falcons were playing with replacement backsDB’s. In fact, only one DB was the real McCoy and that was obviously Dunta.

Dirtybird of Prey

September 18th, 2012
12:21 pm

Hey Michael M….if u didn’t dvr it then watch it on nfl replay…if they replay it seeing that the Falcons don’t get much love….I thought John Fox was going 2 have a stroke of heart attack….I don’t think I have seen a coach so irrate like that in awhile….they need 2 bring back regular ref’s…and yes 2-0 looks good….SUPER BOWER win will look even better….go DirtyBirdz….cuz we 2 legit 2 quit!

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:42 pm

2012 Power Rankings: Week 3
RANK TEAM / RECORD TRENDING COMMENTS
1
49ers
2-0
1
Last Week: 2 15-3 in the regular season under Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers don’t have any obvious weaknesses. (Sando)
2
Texans
2-0
2
Last Week: 4 The Texans are breezing through an easy schedule for what should be a 12-win season. (Clayton)
3
Falcons
2-0
3
Last Week: 6 Mike Nolan’s defense made a statement against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. (Sando)
4
Packers
1-1
1
Last Week: 5 That’s more like it. Our preseason No. 1 took out its frustrations on division-rival Chicago. (Graziano)
5
Patriots
1-1
4
Last Week: 1 A home loss to Arizona either will be a wake-up call or the beginning of the Patriots’ demise. (Hensley)
6
Ravens
1-1
3
Last Week: 3 Baltimore needs to give Ray Rice the ball after giving him a big contract this summer. (Hensley)
7
Eagles
2-0
5
Last Week: 12 The defense looks fantastic. If they stop turning it over, the Birds can be as good as anyone. (Graziano)
8
Giants
1-1
1
Last Week: 7 The champs barely avoided an 0-2 start, thanks to Eli Manning, but where’s the pass rush? (Graziano)
9
Steelers
1-1
2
Last Week: 11 Ben Roethlisberger is going to carry this offense until the Steelers can establish a running game. (Hensley)
10
Broncos
1-1
1
Last Week: 9 It could take a while, but Denver still has an opportunity to be very good, despite its turnover-filled debacle against Atlanta. (Fox)

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
12:44 pm

I don’t see the Saint on this list. I thought they were going to win the SB this year?>

Blah ha ha ha. ROTFL!!!!

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:52 pm

ha ! ha ! Falcon James .you rock man ……………………lmao

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:54 pm

Ragging you out hiramcaint and STBzip…………………….you aint gonna see em on that thing this year either………………….hilarious………………………

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:55 pm

Hey Matt ” Choke” Ryan………………where you at Stud ? ………………….I am callin you out too……………………………………………….ha !

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
12:58 pm

and may as well call out the Mr. Peabodys also, you know the so called Falcon Fans that don’t have no faith in their Falcons but they say they are Falcon Fans……………………give me a dam break…………………………………..

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:03 pm

You know who you are the ones on the other blog last night……………pulling for the Falcons but with your Doubting Thomas remarks…………………..you all make me sick to my stomach…………………………………………………..ought to be ran out of the State of Georgia !

Sorry D-Led, but it is the truth……………………………

KQuark

September 18th, 2012
1:03 pm

Put McClain in for Franks at nickel and the Falcons will be much better. I thought Dante Robinson and Samuel played great games and Will Moore is becoming a star.

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:09 pm

MIchael M- I love it!!! Don’t forget about JSS who left the “_ACKA__” out from his handle (you know the other word for donkey? and let us be sure to recognize Joe Tess Stankho house who always has positive remarks.

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:14 pm

ha ! ha ! ha !………………….yeah…………go ahead and throw him in front of that Greyhound bus too…………………….grab CGD also……………………………….lmao……………but mainly I am going after these fair weathered so called Falcon Fans…..they the ones I hate……………………………..

Michael M.

September 18th, 2012
1:19 pm

@ Dirtybird of Prey…………….I may order that game rewind deal and watch that Bronco- Atlanta game………………but I don’t think I missed that much……………what matters is we are on top of the NFC South division and need to keep it that way………………………………………

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
1:22 pm

I was right there with you last night. I couldn’t believe the Nay sayers last night. And to top it off, all I heard from ESPN was how great Manning was, and future hall of famer, Manning, and Manning is great, and Manning looks great, and Denver is not ready play with Manning, and the OL really protects Manning, Manning Manning Manning……

Been a tough week reading the comments as well. Nolan is genious with the game plan. Looking forward to San Diego this week.