The Atlanta Falcons weren't expected to take care of Peyton Manning by most experts' opinion, and they certainly weren't supposed to confuse and disable the legendary QB. But the Atlanta secondary did just that, grabbing three interceptions in the first quarter and creating four total turnovers in the Falcons' win.
Safety William Moore was the first Falcon defender to grab a pick from Manning on the third play of the game. Moore held back in zone coverage and, in new coordinator Mike Nolan's scheme, confused Manning by first showing blitz. The safety then peeled back and took the interception to the Broncos' 1-yard-line. Atlanta would score three plays later to go up 7-0, and the secondary would set the tone for the entire evening.
"Hopefully it makes a big statement throughout the league," Moore said. "I wouldn’t say we were underestimated or underrated, but we feel like we went out there and did our job. We played some football against one of the best. It was excellent for our secondary. We haven’t been together long with Asante (Samuel) coming in and Brent Grimes down. I feel like we stepped up."
Moore and fellow safety Thomas DeCoud will be relied upon heavily in the new scheme with the corner Grimes out for the season with a foot iinjury.