A player making six sacks in a single game look easy is … well, not easy. Unless that player is Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn against the Tyron Smith-less Cowboys.
Clayborn set a franchise record with his six sacks of Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott during Sunday’s 27-7 win in Atlanta. His six sacks are tied for the second-most in a game since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (7 sacks on Nov. 11, 1990) had more sacks in a single game. Clayborn also forced two fumbles and recovered one fumble.
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One would think such a dominant pass-rushing performance featured an extensive repertoire of pass-rush moves. That wasn’t the case in Week 10 for Clayborn, who needed only a speed rush to beat Cowboys tackles Chaz Green and Byron Bell, who split time attempting to fill in for the injured All-Pro left tackle, throughout the game.
“I only have one move and it worked,” Clayborn, 29, said after the game, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Sure enough, with the exception of his second sack coming from a containment assignment, all of Clayborn’s sacks came via his speed rush off the edge.
“I play the same way every game and it lucked out for me today,” Clayborn said, per The AJC. “You always envision (a game like this), doesn’t mean it is going to happen. I am just blessed I am finally in my groove.”
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Clayborn had two sacks on the season entering Sunday’s game. His career high for a season (7.5) came in his rookie year, 2011 with the Buccaneers.
The seventh-year defensive end’s monster game helped the Falcons improve to 5-4 on the season and stay alive in the NFC playoff picture.