Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Falcons made a necessary change during the bye week, pulling nickel cornerback Robert McClain off the field. McClain had handled the slot duties through the first five games of the season, but he'd been beaten often. He seemingly gave up a game-changing play each week.
Rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant slid into the role this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finding himself often matched up with their top wideout: Vincent Jackson.
While Trufant got beaten on a number of plays, including a few third downs, for the most part he had a solid game in his debut in the slot. It should give the coaching staff some confidence that they made the right decision. And it should cut down on big plays given up.
The Falcons also got good production from outside corners in Robert Alford and Asante Samuel, although Samuel did give up a 59-yard touchdown to Jackson.
Trufant was injured late in the game. His status going forward remains to be determined. For the sake of the Falcons' improving defense, hopefully the injury is not serious.