The Atlanta Falcons were defeated Thursday night in a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins 17-6. The offense couldn’t get much of anything going despite the defense kept them close. While the lack of offense is concerning, what was even more concerning f was the lack of pressure that the defense had in the game.
Last season the Falcons’ pass rushers often failed and put too much pressure on a young secondary. This offseason, the Falcons stressed the importance of getting to the quarterback and fixing the lack of ability to pressure the quarterback.
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While it is true that the score and outcome of preseason games are meaningless, the individual results are not. The Falcons defense as a whole on Thursday night failed to bring any type of consistent pass rush. With how much it has been stressed this season it was important for the team to show signs of improvement this preseason.
They have failed to do that so far with only one preseason game left and it is appearing doubtful they will show the needed improvement before the season begins. The defense overall has been decent this season They have been demonstrating a harder hitting and tougher defense then was seen for most of last season. The problem remains however, that while these slight improvements help they will not matter, if the Falcons cannot find a way to rush the quarterback.
Dan Quinn is one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the league and will continue to brain storm ways to try to put pressure on the quarterback. It is slightly worrisome that thus far none of those so-called ways have yet to be effective. The good news for Falcons fans is that preseason isn’t over and the starting defense could take a big step forward once the regular season begins.
For now though the Falcons defensive pass rush looks to be one of the worst pass rushing defenses in the league. If the Falcons want a shot to challenge for the division they may have to count on Matt Ryan to return to form and Julio Jones to again carry the Atlanta offense.