FLOWERY BRANCH — It was abundantly clear early on Sunday that the Falcons’ coaching staff didn’t spend the bye week out on the golf course.
They were in the office, concocting a way to improve their run defense and stop the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Falcons entered the game giving up 143.8 yards rushing per game, but held the Eagles to 92 yards rushing on 24 carries (3.8 yards per carry) in their 30-17 victory.
In obvious run situations, the Falcons used three defensive tackles — Jonathan Babineaux, Vance Walker and Peria Jerry — to knock back the line of scrimmage. Babineaux, normally the “quick tackle,” lined up at defensive end.
“In the bye week, we looked at a lot of different combinations and we had an opportunity to put some things up on the board and get some dust, so to speak, in the bottom of the chalkboard,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said Monday. “We put different things together and looked at some different combinations.
“We went into this game with a little bit of a different strategy and I thought that it helped us in our run defense.”