3 Things to Improve On
The Falcons are far from a perfect team. For all the good I have talked about so far in this piece, there has to be some talk of the bad. Atlanta has a very young team that still has room for a lot of improvement despite their improved play this season. Let’s look at 3 things I think the Falcons can improve on going forward.
1. Defense, as a whole
Offense has not been the problem for Atlanta this season. They average an absurd 32 points per game and have shown they can score on almost anybody. The problem has been their young defense.
This unit needs to improve if the Falcons want to be considered a Super Bowl contender. I believe in the cliched “Defense wins championships” and this defense is far from championship caliber. They surrender way too many yards through the air and have problems getting off the field some times.
A positive however, like I stated earlier, is that this defense is really young. With rookies occupying 3 starting spots and 2nd year guys scattered throughout, their is still time for growth. Let’s just hope its sooner rather than later.
It’s not the number of penalties that bother me when it comes to the Falcons. It’s the timing and the bone-headedness(?) in which they occur that causes me the most frustration. The offense could be in midst of a promising drive, until someone holds or is called for illegal hands to the face.
The frequency in which these mistakes occur needs to be decreased. Being a more disciplined team usually results in more success. This Atlanta team is good, but not good enough to get by committing these penalties week after week. Once this improves, so will the Falcons.
3. 3rd down on both sides of the ball
Atlanta is in the middle of the road (39.3% and ranked 17th) when it comes to converting on third down. This may not seem terrible but it could be improved. In the close games this season, the Falcons have either won or lost due to their ability to convert third downs into first downs.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons just need to get off the field. Last game against Philadelphia, they were destroyed in terms of time of possession because they could not stop the Eagles on third down. If this team can ever figure this out, they will be hard to beat by anyone.