WATCH: More work to be done for Dan Quinn to save his job
With just about every sack, interception and third-down stop over the last two weeks, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has been jumping for joy... literally. On one hand, it's hard to blame him. He was criticized so badly for his poor defense in the first half of the season, seeing his unit finally succeed has to be so rewarding for him.
But it also says a lot about where the Falcons are a little past the midway point of this season. Getting just one sack or a takeaway is such a big deal, Quinn is celebrating it as if his team is about to win a playoff game.
That's all in the moment, though, and during the games. Quinn isn't showing that same celebratory emotion in front of the media.
"It's two games. I don't know if it even qualifies as a streak," Quinn said Monday in response to a question about whether he would call what's happened to his defense a turnaround.
"We're just starting to get rolling. That would be an awesome Christmas question. I'd be more than glad to answer it at that time. Is that fair? Or at least give us until Thanksgiving."
Quinn is smart enough to know that if his defense returns to playing the way it did early in the year, he's still going to lose his job. Even a three-game winning streak might not help him keep his residency in Atlanta if the Falcons don't slow down Drew Brees and the Saints again on Thanksgiving.
In addition to four more division games, the Falcons still have matchups with the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars. The 49ers will be a very difficult matchup, and considering Quinn's record against the AFC, the Jaguars are no cake walk.
Quinn and his new defensive staff have the defense back on track. Keeping it there and ending the season the way they've played the last two games will be the key to Quinn earning a sixth season with the Falcons.