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Behind Enemy Lines 2015: Falcons Edition


The Redskins on Sunday take on the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Digital Content Producer Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey on Twitter) gives us an insider's look at the major storylines for the opposing team heading into the matchup.* The Falcons are off to a hot start at 4-0 under a rookie head coach in Dan Quinn. What kind of attitude has Quinn brought to the franchise, and what's the feeling like around the team after such a great start?


Conway: "**Since the day Dan Quinn arrived in Atlanta, he promised his team would play fast and physical. And the Falcons have done just that. Quinn's entire coaching philosophy revolves around competition and the importance of having high regard for the football. This mindset is showing as Atlanta is plus six in the turnover differential category." Jones is off to a prolific start at the wide receiver position for the Falcons. Obviously he's always been one of the better pass catchers and playmakers in the league, but what specifically has been the formula for even more success this season?

Conway: "All season long, Julio Jones has been adamant in saying that his approach has not changed this season, in particular. He prepares the same way every week. Kyle Shanahan's play calling and scheme mixed with Jones' talent, has allowed him to be placed in favorable matchups, that he has taken full advantage of."

** **The Falcons' defense hasn't been as sharp as they would like through four games, which is odd considering Quinn has such a tremendous defensive background. What have been the general issues defensively in Atlanta, and what are they hoping to do to fix it?

Conway: "The total yardage number is misleading when you look at the full body of work from Quinn's defense. The Falcons' defense has been stout against the run and has done a nice job of limiting opponents on third down and in the red zone. They have also forced eight turnovers this season, which is near the top of the NFL."'s tons of former Redskins players and coaches now calling Atlanta home. One of those players, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, has been thriving under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Hankerson definitely flashed his talent during his time in Washington, but had some injury issues – what kind of difference has he been making in Shanahan's offense with the Falcons?

Conway: "Hankerson has made an impact on this offense since his arrival. His knowledge of Shanahan's scheme has helped him be productive early on, as he has evolved into the Falcons' second most targeted receiever. His length provides a large catch radius, that has helped him become a viable red zone option for quarterback Matt Ryan."


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