Consider Tuesday "Glover Quin Appreciation Day" at Pride of Detroit. Not only did Quin come in second in our Game Ball poll this week, but it also turns out he has the highest Pro Football Focus grade among all safeties in the NFL.
The 31-year-old veteran is the clear leader of this Detroit Lions defense and he was a huge reason the team was still in the game late against the Atlanta Falcons.
Quin’s pick-six of Matt Ryan late in the first half prevented Atlanta from potentially going up three possessions at halftime. Instead, the Lions were within just a single score at half.
You’ve probably seen the play 100 times already, but you have to see it again, because the break Glover Quin makes on this ball is unbelievable.
The Falcons are not making it obvious whether they will be aggressive and try to score points, or whether they’ll bleed time off the clock and go into halftime with a comfortable lead. With just under two minutes remaining, they’re trying to keep the Lions defense guessing.
With seven men in the box for Detroit, this is a good look for Atlanta to be aggressive, and that’s exactly what they do. The Falcons are trying to take a deep shot over the middle, using the slot receiver to ideally bait Quin to that side of the field. Considering Quin starts the play on the left hash, Ryan likely thinks he has this one in the bag. The rest of the Lions cornerbacks are in man-coverage, so as long as Julio Jones gets a little separation on Darius Slay, this should be easy pickings.
But Glover Quin has done his homework. It is abundantly clear that whatever film study Quin did in the leadup to this game paid off, because his ability to read this play is otherworldly.
Just look at how soon Quin starts to make his cut on the play:
Matt Ryan hasn’t completely settled into his dropback yet. Julio Jones has yet to make a cut. Yet Quin reads Ryan’s eyes and already knows where the ball is going before Ryan even moves his arm. There’s a seam route coming up the middle of the field, but Quin abandons it, because he’s seen this play before.
The FOX endzone angle shows just how quick Quin got to the ball:
The second Quin is sure it’s a pass, he’s booking it towards Julio. By the time Ryan’s arm finally cocks back, Quin is already at top speed.
As he’s releasing the ball, Ryan finally sees Quin and desperately tries to throw a back-shoulder pass to keep it away from the Lions’ safety, but it’s too late. Quin had an outstanding jump on the ball and there was no keeping it away from him.
Just to give you an idea how much Quin comes out of nowhere, here’s Ryan’s point of view in real-time speed:
Future quarterbacks: Beware. You may not see Quin hiding in the grass, but he’s ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. Word of advice: Don’t stare down your target like this unless you’re prepared to make a tackle.