Falcons' Dan Quinn wants Vic Beasley Jr. to create more havoc

Herm expects Keenum to falter against Falcons (0:43)

Herm Edwards predicts Atlanta will win in Week 13, becoming the first team to truly challenge Case Keenum and the Vikings offense. (0:43)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn knows what type of impact reigning NFL sack champ Vic Beasley Jr. can have on a game. Now Quinn just wants to see more of it.

Beasley, who had 15.5 sacks last season, enters Sunday's NFC showdown with the Minnesota Vikings with four sacks, tied with rookie Takkarist McKinley and Brooks Reed for second on the team behind Adrian Clayborn's eight.

"For sure, they're not," Quinn said of Beasley's sack numbers not being at the same high level. "One of the good parts of Vic's game that he does when he sacks is he gets forced fumbles. He's forever had a knack for that. That part, we really need over the next [five games] of the season, that part of his game to really come through. We totally rely on that."

Beasley has one forced fumble through 11 games after leading the team with six last season. The forced fumble he had back in Week 2 against Green Bay was a sack-fumble involving Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and resulted in a 15-yard fumble return for a touchdown by cornerback Desmond Trufant.

In all fairness to Beasley, he did miss a couple of games because of a hamstring injury and didn't appear to be 100 percent upon returning to the lineup. Then a knee injury suffered by rookie linebacker Duke Riley forced some shuffling, with De'Vondre Campbell moving back into a primary role at weakside linebacker and Beasley picking up more snaps at strongside linebacker. That meant more setting the edge against the run and more dropping in coverage for Beasley rather than focusing on his primary strength of just rushing the passer.

Naturally, Beasley is going to draw added attention from the opposition, which opens opportunities for others such as Clayborn, McKinley, and interior rushers Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe to make plays. That wasn't necessarily the case in last week's win against Tampa Bay, when Beasley was stood up on his share of one-on-one rushes against right tackle Demar Dotson and left tackle Donovan Smith. Beasley was chipped by the running back on one play. And the officials missed holds against tight end Antony Auclair and Smith against Beasley late in the game. Beasley didn't record a tackle, sack, or quarterback hit in the game.

The Falcons need Beasley to create the kind of havoc Quinn's talking about on Sunday against the Vikings and quarterback Case Keenum, a player whose passer rating of 96.2 ranks 11th in the league, one spot below the Falcons' Matt Ryan. According to ESPN Stats and Info. Keenum has been sacked on 2.0 percent of his dropbacks, the lowest rate in the league and a rate that would be the lowest for any quarterback since Peyton Manning in 2009 [1.7 percent].

If Beasley can't get to Keenum, maybe Clayborn or the rookie first-round pick McKinley will. Clayborn had a franchise-record six sacks in a win against the Dallas Cowboys and has eight of his team-leading 14 quarterback hits during the team's three-game winning streak. McKinley has three sacks and five quarterback hits since Week 8.

The Falcons always knew Jarrett could bring the pressure from the interior, but Poe has been a pleasant surprise. He's elevated his play the past few weeks and had a crucial quarterback hit late against the Buccaneers that resulted in a rushed pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick and kept the Bucs from converting on fourth down to potentially tie the game. Poe has a sack and five quarterback hits during the three-game winning streak.

"If it's not the best I've rushed, it's close to it," Poe said. "But it probably is, thanks to [Quinn] and B.Y. [defensive line coach Bryant Young] and all these guys around me. It's going good and getting better."