Atlanta Falcons defense isn’t good a quarter of the way through the season
Earlier this year, it was announced that Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn would take over defensive coordinator responsibilities in the 2019 NFL season.
This announcement had Atlanta Falcons fans excited, as the defense has struggled mightily the last couple of years. Reasons for excitement in the fan base were noticeable in large part due to Dan Quinn being defense coordinator for the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and the infamous “Legion of Boom”. The Seahawks defense ended that year ranking in first at all major passing categories as well as total points, total yards, and total turnovers.
The thought of the Falcons being able to put up a stout defense similar to that of the Seahawks and matched with the explosiveness of the offense, this team should be poised to be another Super Bowl contender. It is an understatement to say that sitting at 1-3 a quarter of the way through the season is disappointing. Watching what had the possibility of an elite defense play so poorly is nothing but disheartening.
So far this season the Atlanta Falcons are ranked twenty-second in points scored, ninth in yards allowed, twenty-seventh in turnovers, and twenty-third in first downs gained. Those numbers are considerably far off from what Dan Quinn was able to do in Seattle.
The defense is also currently ranked seventh in passing yards, nineteenth in passing touchdowns, and twentieth in interceptions. Desmond Trufant is the lone player on the Falcons defense to have an interception with two on the year and both of those coming in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In recent weeks it would appear at times that the secondary is nonexistent. It seems as though they are confused with the coverage, allowing receivers to run right by with little to no effort from the safeties and corners.
The Atlanta Falcons rushing defense is also at the bottom tier of the NFL thus far. They are ranked eighteenth in rushing yards and twenty-third in rushing touchdowns. On average, the defense allows almost four yards per rushing attempt.
Grady Jarrett leads the team in sacks with two on the season and also leads the team in tackles for loss with 4. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell leads the team in tackles with 23 solo and 15 assisted.
Like last year, injuries have come around on the defensive side of the ball. Safety Keanu Neal is the most notable injury thus far, as he went out for the season with a torn Achilles in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. Neal also missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL in the season-opener.
At the end of the first quarter of the season the defense, much like the offense, has been very disappointing. There is a lot of room for this team to improve, and if Dan Quinn wants to keep his position as the head coach/defensive coordinator of this team, he seriously needs to reevaluate his schemes and strategies moving forward.