Atlanta Falcons: Are they the most complete team in the NFC?

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Oct 11, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn leaves a defensive huddle in the second quarter of their game against the Washington Redskins at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons’ defense hasn’t been very good in recent past. Like the Falcons’ running game, the defense has ranked near the bottom in almost every category as well. Well, a near year brings new light.

The Falcons have the 21st ranked defense in the NFL, but don’t look into that ranking too much. The Falcons have the third ranked run defense and the 29th ranked pass defense.

The pass defense doesn’t do this group justice. Look back at their week 4 slaughter of the Houston Texans. The defensive starters were pulled with roughly 3:00 remaining in the third quarter. From that point on, the Texans scored three touchdowns and racked up a bunch of yards.

Do the Falcons have an elite pass defense? No, they don’t. But are they respectable? Absolutely. Cornerback Desmond Trufant ranks among the best in the NFL and strong safety William Moore is off to an incredible start as well.

What has been great to see from this defense is the ability to stop the run. The Falcons have faced a slew of good running backs to start the year and have shut them down. The Falcons have shut down DeMarco Murray, Joseph Randle, Arian Foster, Matt Jones and Alfred Morris.

The Falcons have of beef up front. Paul Soliai, Ra”shede Hageman, Johnathan Babineaux, Tyson Jackson and Grady Jarrett have all done a terrific job of stopping the opposing running backs from getting into the second level of the defense.

The Falcons’ defense is also tied for the league lead with three scores including two consecutive walk-off defensive touchdowns to end a game. The Falcons are the first team to do that since the 2001 Chicago Bears.

The Falcons’ pass rush is also something that has had a positive impact thus far. Sure, they only six sacks, but the Falcons have 27 QB hits that rank among the league lead and have forced 33 quarterback disruptions. The Falcons managed just 10 QB hits through the first five games of 2014.