“When we’re all out there, we’re a top-10 defense.” – Atlanta Falcons’ free safety Ricardo Allen
Ricardo Allen told reporters this after OTAs when asked about injuries and defense. He brings up a great point and one that is important for Atlanta Falcons fans to remember. Yes, the defense was atrocious last season, there is no denying that, but we have to remember that three of the top stars on defense fell to injury within the first three weeks of the season.
Losing three stars in such a short time span and so early in the season, it was too much to overcome. Now that the defense is healthy (knock on wood) the Falcons shouldn’t have to worry about giving up 28+ points per game. When healthy, the defense was a top-10 unit.
In 2017, the Falcons finished in the top-10 in points per game given up and yards given up per game.
Another aspect to look at is that Dan Quinn is taking over as defensive coordinator. This is huge because the second half of the 2016 season when Quinn took over defensive pay calling is when the defense finally started playing to their potential. The players began playing with more confidence and that showed on the field.
It is very likely that the Falcons could finish with a top-10 defense this upcoming season. Quinn is back to calling defensive plays and the Falcons top stars on defense will be returning from injuries. Also, the young talent that stepped up last season on defense will get a chance to shine again this year and play with the likes of Allen, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones for a full season.
It is an exciting time for a Falcons fan right now. How could one not love what they see personnel wise with the Falcons defense? Add the young and exciting defense to the new look offense and revamped offensive line, it is a great possibility that the Falcons will be one of the most exciting teams to watch this upcoming season.