Atlanta Falcons must focus on winning in the trenches
Football games are often won by the big guys up front. The Atlanta Falcons need to find those players.
If you can win up front, you can control a football game. Every team needs a quarterback and a strong supporting cast, but it all counts for nothing if the team spends 60 minutes getting dominated at the line of scrimmage.
This offseason, the Atlanta Falcons need to continue to add players to the supporting cast with a notable deficiency at the No. 2 wide receiver spot – finding another pass catcher is a top priority. But it’s important not to neglect the big guys up front, and this is an area the Falcons need to focus on.
The interior of the offensive line needs work, the center position being the biggest need. How many more games would the Falcons have won in 2015 if it weren’t for botched snaps? A win over Tampa Bay at home would have been that much more likely. Finding young talent at guard is also important.
Dallas are a prime example of why it’s important to keep stocking up on offensive linemen. Having a strong starting five who can open up running lanes and protect the quarterback is critical to the success of an offense. DeMarco Murray dominated in the backfield with that offensive line in front of him, and that translated to one of Tony Romo‘s best seasons.
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Atlanta’s offensive line was much improved in 2015 — particularly in run blocking — but it is far from the finished product. Adding talent either through free agency or in the draft is of high importance. The Falcons have their quarterback. They have their elite receiver. They have a young star at running back. Now it’s time to ensure the offensive line reaches a similar top-tier status.
Defensively, an anaemic pass rush has been clear for all to see. Top of the agenda this offseason is to ensure the Falcons have a host of talent capable of teeing off on the quarterback. From there, it’s important to build the interior of the line. This draft class is particularly strong for defensive linemen, and the Falcons need to take advantage.
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Defense is Dan Quinn’s top priority. A lot of focus will go on the wide receiver position in free agency, and rightfully so. The need for a No. 2 pass catcher to go alongside Julio Jones is obvious. But success starts at the line of scrimmage, and the Falcons need to ensure they are stocking up on talent along both lines at every opportunity.