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Revamped Falcons' Defense Is Paying Early Dividends

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The Atlanta Falcons have set their sights on opposing quarterbacks and the early results are promising. After a 2009 season that saw the Falcons finish 26th in sacks, defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder's unit has turned up the heat.

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From CBS Sports:

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The Falcons mercilessly blitzed Pittsburgh's Dennis Dixon and Arizona's Derek Anderson and have forced three interceptions by three different players and five sacks by five different players.

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They would have had more interceptions, but they dropped two of the errant passes that Dixon had "gifted" to the defense.

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The Falcons currently rank 8th in the league in sacks and are on pace to bring down the quarterback 40 times, an increase of 12 from last season and the most since they had 48 sacks during the 2004 season.

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The increased pressure has also led to more opportunities for their playmaking secondary. With four interceptions after two weeks, the Falcons are leading the league in picks and are on pace to more than double their 2009 total of 15.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.