Dan Quinn has been the head coach for the Atlanta Falcons since 2015, making this just his second year at the helm of the franchise after spending two years as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. This gives Quinn a bit of an edge in that he has seen the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl before (XLIX in a losing effort). Sure, the Patriots won’t run the exact same offense they ran then, and Quinn doesn’t have the same defensive personnel as he had in Seattle, but he also doesn’t have Pete Carroll leaving Marshawn Lynch empty handed from the one to close out the game.
Quinn’s pedigree has always been defense, from the time he was a defensive lineman for Division III Salisbury State to his various NFL stops in San Francisco (2001-2004), Miami (2005-2006), New York Jets (2007-2008) and Seattle (2009-2011; 2013-2014). Quinn has one of the best offenses in football, and one of the best offensive coordinators in (the soon to be head coach of the 49ers) Kyle Shanahan yet defense is where he can and will make an impact on this game. Quinn, combined with his defensive coordinator Richard Smith should be able to devise a game-plan to at least stymie the Patriots enough to allow the offense to create some breathing room. Last year’s Super Bowl saw two offenses that just needed to do enough to win against two historically great defenses, while this year should feature the exact opposite, and Dan Quinn could be the tipping point that puts Atlanta over the edge.