Dwight Freeney

Falcons rely on defense in 23-16 win over Broncos

Instead of 300 yards receiving from Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons got 3 1/2 sacks from Vic Beasley Jr.

Maybe this defense really can play.

Already an offensive juggernaut, the Falcons turned up the defensive pressure and made life miserable for rookie Paxton Lynch in a 23-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Beasley led the punishment of Lynch, who was making his first start as he filled in for a banged-up Trevor Siemian . Lynch was sacked six times and looked every bit like the rookie he is for the Broncos (4-1).

It may be the start of something good for a maligned Falcons defense.

"This is like a machine and...