FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons had two interceptions against the Giants to give them 18 for the season, which ranks fourth in the league. Only Chicago (21), Giants (20) and Arizona (22) have more interceptions.
The Falcons are also plus-9 in takeaways, which is eighth in the league before Monday’s night game between the New York Jets and Tennessee.
To go with their 18 interceptions, the Falcons have nine fumble recoveries for 27 turnovers. The offense has 14 interceptions and four fumbles for 18 turnovers.
The defense has recorded six games with two interceptions are more. They are 6-0 in those contests.
Players credit the ability to disguise their coverages as the key to interceptions.
“If we can confuse a quarterback and make him throw it somewhere where he wasn’t expecting to throw it, or after play-fake, look back and see a completely different coverage, it helps us out exponentially,” said safety Thomas DeCoud, who leads the team with six interceptions. “It’s (paid) dividends and helped our ability to get the ball back this year.”
Utility infielder Franks: When safety Chris Hope, who was filling for William Moore, went down with a head injury Sunday, the Falcons used cornerback Dominique Franks at safety.
“Dominique is like our utility infielder, to use a baseball term,” Smith said. “He’s a guy that can play corner, nickel and safety for us.”
Rookie safety Charles Mitchell also saw some action in the dime package when the Giants went to a four-receiver formation.
Moore’s return from a rib injury will depend on how well he performs in a workout with the trainers on Tuesday.
Etc.: Tackle Lamar Holmes, the Falcons third-round draft choice (Southern Miss), made his NFL debut against the Giants. He played seven plays. … Backup center/guard Joe Hawley has served his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and will return to the team on Tuesday, Smith said. The team has not announced who it will release to open up a roster spot for Hawley’s return. Guard Harland Gunn was signed to take Hawley’s spot on Nov. 20. He has been inactive for the last four games. … Falcons running backs caught six passes for 48 yards. … Hope’s hard tackle on Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks will attract league review and may lead to a fine. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play.
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