In last season’s matchup, right defensive end Trent Cole, left defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and left defensive end Jason Babin turned in four sacks and six quarterbacks hits against the Falcons.
Jenkins had two sacks and two quarterbacks hits. Cole and Babin had a sack and two quarterback hits each. Right defensive tackle Derek Landri rounds out the starting line.
The trio is off to a slow start this season. Babin has 2.5 sacks, Cole 1.5 and Jenkins has none, but Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said they are all playing at a high level despite not having a sack over their past three games.
“More than any team that we play, they are two deep on their (defensive) line, and they play their second unit more than most teams,” Koetter said. “They do a good job of keeping their guys fresh, and their second unit is extremely talented as well.”
The backup ends are Brandon Graham and Darryl Tapp. The backup tackles are Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton.
“They’ve got a first-round draft pick (Graham) in their second wave,” Koetter said. “They are comparable to a hockey line. They just roll the next group in there. They have four or five very capable defensive ends.”
Jenkins appears to be the key player to stop for Falcons center Todd McClure and right guard Garrett Reynolds.
“I don’t think he has a sack to date, but you just would not know it from watching the tape,” Koetter said.
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