DeCoud keys aggressive Falcons defense

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It’s easy to zoom in only on quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons big-play offense when considering their 3-0 start.

But the Falcons are also getting it done on the other side of the ball, with a defense that’s creating more opportunities for Ryan.

Keyed by safeties William Moore and Thomas DeCoud, the Falcons lead the league with 11 takeaways, an impressive start for new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

“That’s one of the things William and I have taken to heart as safeties, especially in this new system,” DeCoud said, via Kirk Kenney of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “You’ve got to get the ball back, and we have a lot of opportunities to do that. It’s evident in our play right now.”

DeCoud had a fumble recovery and two picks in the Falcons’ 27-3 manhandling of the Chargers, following up nicely on his pick of Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning last week.

The Falcons already have a two-game lead in the NFC South over the Buccaneers and the Panthers, and if the defense continues at the current rate, that’s only going to grow.