Atlanta Falcons: Grading the defense at Falcons bye week

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Oct 25, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Dexter McCluster (22) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) and Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports


Weeks 1-4: B-
Weeks 5-9: C
Overall: C+

A similar story can be said of the Falcons’ linebackers. When defending the run, they have been pretty good. But when rushing the passer or dropping in coverage, they’ve left a lot to be desired. Paul Worrilow is an example this; Worrilow has played some his best football against the run, but gone missing in coverage too often.

Another issue has been health. The two key signings in the offseason, Justin Durant and Brooks Reed, have been dealing with injuries. Durant missed time with an elbow injury, and is now dealing with a calf injury. Reed missed the start of the season with a groin injury and took time to get back to 100 percent.

Outlook: The linebackers need to do more against the pass, and the unit needs to stay healthy. Justin Durant is an important piece on defense for Atlanta, so getting him back on the field and staying healthy is so important for the rest of the season.

Next: Secondary