When the Falcons drafted Clemson’s Vic Beasley #6 overall in the 2015 NFL they felt they had someone who would finally give them a legitimate pass rusher of the edge. This was something not present since the departure of John Abraham a few years ago. In his 1st season however Beasley had very little impact. He tallied only 4 sacks 2 of them coming in game 15 vs the Panthers. Some of this was due an injury the severity not publicly disclosed until after the season. 2016 seemed to be going the same way. Beasley was constantly stymied by bigger lineman from the teams Atlanta faced. That all changed in Denver.
Check out our Vic Beasley interview
The 2nd year player who been moved to linebacker, finally became the game disruptor the Falcons thought they were getting when they picked him. Beasley had an epic game. He lead the team with 7 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, and most important tallied 3.5 sacks as Atlanta beat the Denver Broncos 23-16. Now people will point out Denver played rookie QB Paxton Lynch, and an injured lineman. But Beasley was in the Broncos backfield all day long making plays. The difference was intensity,placement, and technique. The young LB was unrelenting in his pursuit of the ball carrier on run and pass plays when on the field. As we have advocated for repeatedly, he was moved around. First set up on the edge to rush the QB. Then in the middle on a stunt to create pressure from the middle. Next faking the rush and dropping back into coverage. He used his hands and arms more to create leverage and keep lineman from getting in to his body to block him. All told the Falcons defense registered 6 sacks on the day including the final one by Beasley’s former Clemson teammate Grady Jarrett. Next up is the team the Falcons are trying to model their defense on, the Seattle Seahawks