The 2014 Atlanta Falcons may be faced with a shoot-out every single game. They have an offense with the capability to put up over 450 yards a game, yet a defense that seems to struggle to get off the field. Matt Ryan, AKA “Matty Ice”. is one of the higher-end quarterbacks in the NFL with a handful of weapons this season. Julio Jones is an absolute physical speciman, while on the other side there is a talented and proven leader in Roddy White. For other quarterbacks in the league, these two receivers are something that they would kill for (Joe Flacco, Geno Smith, Alex Smith, etc). But for Matty Ice, the list keeps going. This offense is undoubtedly going to be one of the best. Even the biggest rivals would admit it.
Matt Ryan’s Weapons in 2014
- Julio Jones
- Roddy White
- Devin Hester
- Harry Douglas
- Steven Jackson
- Devonta Freeman
- Jacquizz Rodgers
The defense on the other hand, is in ruins.
Coming off of being 27th in the league in yards allowed last season, they didn’t do too much to show they will dramatically improve.
In the draft, after selecting Jake Matthews in the first round, the Atlanta Falcons went out and got Ra’Shede Hageman, a defensive tackle out of the University of Minnesota. As featured in Hard Knocks and in the games, Hageman has struggled throughout his NFL career thus far, both physically and mentally easily getting pushed out of the box, or constantly putting himself down after a bad play.
For now, the starters at defensive tackle is Paul Soliali and Tyson Jackson.
Soliai is nothing more than an average player, but Jackson is a very established player. But? He is not in his natural position at defensive end, instead he was forced into the heart of the running game.
The Falcons also have no pass rush at the defensive end spot. While Jonathan Babineaux is trying his best, he still isn’t consistent. Kroy Biermann is a run stopper, he doesn’t get to the QB often enough. The sack leader last season was Osi Umenyiora with 7.5, but he is aging quickly at 32 years old.
The secondary does have a bundle of talent, but they have only played with each other for a month, which causes chemistry problems. This secondary just doesn’t have a leader. Desmond Trufant is an outstanding cornerback, but he doesn’t lead. Safety William Moore is just a talker, he attempts to get everyone pumped up and mad. Those two are the best they have in the defense, someone must step up to be a vocal leader.