2. Atlanta’s defense
Lost in Mariota’s play and the terrible call against Grady Jarrett last Sunday was the fact that after struggling early the Falcons’ defense played well and gave the offense a chance to claw back into the game. The Tom Brady-led Bucs are certainly the more dangerous offense between these two teams and the Atlanta defense limited them to 21-points more than enough to give the offense a chance.
While the offense has been much better than expected despite their struggles at quarterback the story of the first half of the season is going to be this Atlanta defense. Twice with the game on the line they came up with a game-winning interception that was set up by a Grady Jarrett sack. After letting a big lead slip away in week one and taking it on the chin against the Rams in the first half the defense has been impressive considering the roster talent.
They made the game-winning plays against the Browns and Seahawks while giving the offense time to mount comebacks against the Rams and Bucs. This unit is being overlooked and could cause problems against San Francisco on Sunday if they can just find the quarterback pressure a bit earlier in the game.