Falcons Showing Strong Run Defense

Aug 15, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) gets tackled by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) at M

Probably the most impressive thing I have seen yet in the preseason was the dominant running game.  Not on the offense, however, but the defense.  Ray Rice was held to only 10 yards on 8 rushes.  Considering the Ravens Offensive line isn’t bad and Ray Rice is very good, that says a lot.

But it wasn’t just the Ravens.  Although the Bengals don’t have quite as good of a ground game as the Baltimore, the Bengals only had one good run off a missed tackle.

I believed the run defense to be the biggest weakness for the falcons.  They had a very hard time stopping the run late in the season and made no personnel movements to counter that.  The pass rush should be at least a little improved with a more mature Massaquoi and a younger Umenyiora, but Babineaux can’t stop the runners by himself.  Apparently only a minor scheme change is all that was needed to turn this defense into a dominant run stopping machine.

I don’t mean to say that after two preseason games with no game planning I predict a top 5 run defense, only that it is noticeably improved.  It appears now that Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters might have the tools to be a good run stuffing duo.  Maybe the tools are already there and it’s only up to Mike Nolan to put together a scheme and Mike Nolan may have already found it.

How impressed are you with the run defense so far?

Topics: Atlanta Falcons, Jonathan Babineaux, Jonathan Massaquoi, Mike Nolan, Osi Umenyiora

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