Head coach Dan Quinn said that Crawford is an important piece to what the Falcons have defensively, and expressed that the team expects to see him become even more involved in 2019, Kelsey Conway of the team's official site reports.
Crawford was somewhat of an unsung bright spot for the Falcons defense in 2019, tying a career high with 11 starts and obliterating previous personal bests in both sacks (six) and combined tackles (35). Past injury woes -- including a torn biceps that cost him 12 games in 2017 -- are obstacles to predicting Crawford's statistical output for this season. But he'll vie for a starting defensive tackle spot, and possibly garner 50-plus percent of the defensive snaps in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.
Crawford played all 16 games for Atlanta this season, tying a career high with 11 starts, and establishing new personal bests in tackles (35), quarterback hits (nine) and sacks (six).
Crawford rebounded impressively from a torn bicep that cost him 12 games in 2017, establishing himself as a stalwart along the Falcons' defensive line and producing like one of the premier players at his position. There were only 11 defensive tackles who compiled more sacks than Crawford did this season, and most of those players are considered to be of Pro-Bowl caliber. Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox, Geno Atkins and Akiem Hicks are among the select list of defensive tackles who eclipsed Crawford's sack tally this year. The 30-year-old remains on Atlanta's payroll for 2019, as he and second-year man Deadrin Senat strive to help the Falcons improve upon a 25th-place finish in rush defense.
Crawford had three assisted tackles, an interception and a half-sack in Sunday's win over the Panthers.
Crawford was able to snag the first interception of his career and put an end to a scoring threat as the Panthers were inside the five-yard line. The veteran defensive tackle has 34 tackles (19 solo), six sacks and a forced fumble through 15 games.
Crawford recorded three total tackles, including one tackle for loss during Sunday's 34-20 loss to Green Bay.
With another solid showing in Week 14, the veteran defensive lineman now has 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack over Atlanta's past three games. Against the Packers, Crawford stuffed Jamaal Williams for a loss of two yards on his second carry of the afternoon, and later helped contain the explosive Aaron Jones to a one-yard gain on an early third-quarter run. Crawford may be afforded limited opportunities defending the run Sunday against an Arizona offense that's called 291 running plays this season (7th-fewest). He will, however, carry a fair probability of recording a sack, facing a Cardinals line that's allowed 84 QB hits in 2018 (10th-most).
Crawford had four tackles (three solo) and a sack in Thursday's loss to the Saints.
Crawford brings his season sack total to 5.5, setting a new career high through only 11 games. The 30-year-old has 23 total tackles for the season and would be an unreliable IDP option given his inconsistent production.
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