ATLANTA -- The 2019 season is a lost one for the Atlanta Falcons. Because of their 1-7 start, the Falcons won't play a meaningful game from their own perspective after Thanksgiving this year.
But Atlanta's young players are still gaining valuable in-game experience despite playing in games that have little to no meaning. There isn't a greater example of that for the Falcons than the team's two offensive linemen, guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary.
"The two of them, with their urgency, they're gaining confidence as they're going," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said during his postgame press conference Sunday. "There's some on the job training for both of them, but it's valuable time for them for sure. So to see their identity start to come through, the urgency, the toughness, it's only going to improve from here."
Lindstrom returned from a foot injury in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers. Since then, the Falcons have dominated on the ground, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In the first 12 games of the season, the Falcons averaged just 3.5 yards per rush.
Part of that big difference is probably the opponents the Falcons have faced in their small sample since his return, but still, that's too big of a difference to be ignored.
The pass protection has been better too. In the first 12 games, the Falcons allowed 40 sacks, including 15 in the last two contests of November. Since then with Lindstrom, they have yielded five sacks in three contests.