Arthur Smith explains postgame beers with Falcons offensive line

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The Falcons shocked a lot of people this past weekend with an upset win over the 49ers. San Francisco entered the matchup as nearly touchdown road favorites, but they were absolutely dismantled by the inferior Atlanta roster. The Falcons’ defense held up well against an excellent rushing team led by Kyle Shanahan and even forced multiple turnovers. But the story of the afternoon is the Falcons’ rushing attack.

Atlanta has one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL — averaging 33.7 attempts per game (2nd), 165.2 yards per game (3rd), and 4.9 yards per attempt (9th). And it continued this past Sunday against the vaunted Niners’ defense, who came into the game allowing an average of 71.4 yards rushing per game. The Falcons totaled 168 yards, with three players eclipsing 50 yards. It was the fifth time the offense has rushed for at least 168 yards in six games.

The Falcons have been so successful on the ground because of their offensive line — 700 yards before contact this season, second in the NFL. Arthur Smith, a former offensive lineman himself, rewarded the big uglies up front for the impressive play against one of the better defensive fronts in football. Following the win, Smith and the offensive line celebrated in the locker room with beers.

Smith said today that the postgame beers were a celebration for the offensive line, who were promised the occasion if two things happened: the Falcons won, and they rushed for over 100 yards. Check and check.

The Falcons have quickly become one of the most physically dominant offenses in the NFL, and it’s happened in just one offseason. Arthur Smith’s instillation of a new culture in Atlanta has been tangible. The team looks rejuvenated and should be sitting at 4-2 with sole possession of first place in the NFC South had they not blown a Week 1 lead against the Saints. Regardless, this team looks primed to punch above their weight class as long as Arthur Smith is at the helm.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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