Atlanta Falcons: Schofield, Alford top defensive second quarter grades

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 Justin Durant: Grade, 80

Previous Grade: 86

Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) runs with th ball against Atlanta Falcons linebacker Justin Durant (52) at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After getting off to a great start with the Atlanta Falcons, Justin Durant hasn’t been a factor as of late. Durant missed a game due to injury against the Washington Redskins and hasn’t had a lot of tackles in the games he has played. Durant managed 27 tackles in the Falcons’ first four games. Since then, Durant has had 13.

Durant was on the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 79 percent of the defensive snaps which is good, but has not practiced this week.

Paul Worrilow: Grade, 83

Previous Grade: 80

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) makes a move against Atlanta Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) after a catch in the second quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Worrilow got off to a somewhat decent start in 2015, but nothing jumped off the page. Since then, Worrilow has had a pretty solid four games. In those four games, Worrilow has 27 tackles, three higher than his first four games and a huge interception against the Tennessee Titans.

Worrilow picked off Zach Mettenberger in the red zone that likely would have led to at least a field goal. The Falcons won that game 10-7.

Worrilow is never going to make a pro bowl, but he’s done a lot better than he should have coming out of college. It’s unsure if he will be apart of Dan Quinn’s long-term plan, but for now he’s having a solid year.

Nathan Stupar: Grade 85

Previous Grade: 83

Oct 11, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Nate Stupar (54) celebrates their overtime win against the Washington Redskins at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 25-19 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Stupar is a coaches best friend. He works hard, does whatever is asked of him and makes the best of his playing time. That describes Stupar perfectly.

His numbers aren’t going to jump off of the screen, but he makes at least one big play in every single game whether it be a special teams tackle of a play on defense.

Stupar has backed up Paul Worrilow for much of the season but has still played a decent amount of snaps. Against Tampa Bay, Stupar played 13 snaps on defense and 20 on special teams.

When Stupar is on the field, you can expect 110 percent effort. You gotta love it!

O’Brien Schofield: Grade, 85

Previous Grade: 81

O’Brien Schofield is quickly turning into a fan favorite on the Falcons. Schofield has done nothing but great things while he has been on the football field and brings a ton of energy with him. Schofield has recorded a sack in back-to-back games and several tackles to go along with that.

Schofield has been the Falcons’ best pass rushing linebacker and his disrupted numerous plays thus far. Schofield has earned his playing time in 2015 and will continue to make big plays. I love this guy!

Joplo Bartu: Grade, 70

Previous Grade: 75

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu (59) tackles Houston Texans running back Chris Polk (22) during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Texans 48-21. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Joplo Bartu had his best game of the year against the New Orleans Saints, but since then hasn’t done anything. Bartu didn’t record a sack against the Tennessee Titans and did not play against the Buccaneers.  It is clear that Bartu isn’t in the Falcons’ plans going forward. What started as a promising career has turned into not much of anything in the last two seasons for Bartu.

Brooks Reed: Grade, 75

Previous Grade: ?

Feb 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texan linebacker Brooks Reed watches the Houston Rockets play the Chicago Bulls in the first half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Reed has played in just five games for the Falcons after missing the first three due to injury and has had a quite start to his season. Reed has just six tackles in five games after playing roughly 60 percent of the defensive snaps.

Let’s see how he can do in the next four games. My challenge to him is to get five tackles in each of the next four games.