Oct 14, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Atlanta Falcons offense huddles around quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Raiders 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports
First I want to apologize that I had not submitted any writing the last two days, I had some unexpected problems come up that made my access to a computer very limited.
But I wanted to bring up a topic that had been in my mind and I wanted some feedback from you guys. With an outstanding offense, how important is defense?
Now don’t get me wrong, I would never suggest that you can do anything more than just get by with a bad defense. But in my last post, I pointed out that the Defense really isn’t all that bad. They are one of the best teams to keep points off the board. They had problems covering tight ends in the playoffs and had a hard time stopping the run along with the obvious pass rush problem. However, except for a single game in Carolina, The Falcons actually fared well against rushing quarterbacks. Michael Vick was a non-threat, Colin Kaepernick barely rushed at all and the only reason he looked any good statistically was the amount of times the tight end was so incredibly open. Atlanta took Robert Griffin III out of the game, and was able to hold down Russell Wilson. The defense is not bad, but it could obviously be improved upon and that’s why so much has gone into improving. But how much better does it need to be to get the Falcons to the Super Bowl?
Matt Ryan had a career year and only shows signs of improvement. He’s accurate at any point of the field and has a strong arm. He has two number one receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. He has a Hall of Fame tight end that rocks the red-zone with Tony Gonzalez. Even Harry Douglas can catch all over the field. On top of that, he has TWO running backs with great hands. Steven Jackson will be the check down man along with Jacquizz Rodgers. But with the Quzz and Jackson running the ball, the running woes the Falcons have faced in the past just won’t really be there, I don’t care how many miles you say Steven Jackson has on his tires. He will stretch the field and has the ability to run past defenses.
Last year, Julio Jones made the “Pick your poison” argument that there were three great receivers that needed to be double-teamed to be taken out of the game and that that’s just not going to happen. You can’t cover everyone at once. Going 13-3 with a playoff win seems to show that argument was a pretty decent one. But say hypothetically a defense could cover all three at once and still put pressure on Matt Ryan. Guess who’s open now. Steven Jackson will be there almost every time for a few yards. The offense may be unstoppable. The only thing Atlanta need is a defense that isn’t terrible and they have that with Mike Nolan making calls. Take out a few risky throws that Matt Ryan makes and I dare you to name a defense that will be able to stop them.
I hate to say it (I actually love it) but I honestly believe the only way to beat the Falcons is to Outscore them while their defense just tries to hold on. The biggest teams the NFC have a star-studded defense and some offensive weapons, but I don’t think Seattle and San Francisco can outscore Atlanta this year no matter how good their defense is.