Atlanta Falcons: Grading the defense at Falcons bye week

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Sep 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen (37) celebrates his game saving interception in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Eagles 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


Weeks 1-4: B+
Weeks 5-9: B
Overall: B

We all know how good Desmond Trufant is, and offenses have shied away from him at times. Robert Alford has been a solid teammate opposite him once again when he’s played well, but he’s struggled at times also. With Alford injured, rookie Jalen Collins has seen his role increase.

Ricardo Allen made the game-clinching pick of Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford in the season opener, and it was Alford who made a game-winning pick-six against Washington in overtime. William Moore has made some key interceptions, too.

The Falcons secondary has been solid for much of the season, but not dominant. At key times they have made big plays, and that’s encouraging for Dan Quinn.

Outlook: First and foremost, the Falcons secondary needs better support from the pass rush. You only have to look at a team like the blitz-heavy Jets or the sack-leading Broncos to see how beneficial pressuring the quarterback can be for a secondary. It will be interesting to see how rookie Jalen Collins grows into his role as the season goes on.