Who was the greatest Atlanta Falcons team of all time?
So now it’s all up for grabs, the 2012 Atlanta Falcons led by Matt Ryan are up against the 2004 Atlanta Falcons led by Michael Vick.
The issue at hand for the 2012 Atlanta defense is how they are going to neutralize Vick on the ground. Yes, Beasley had an incredible season coming off the edge and yes, Deion Jones is one of the more athletic linebackers in the league, but containing Vick is a daunting task. They won’t be able to stop him but slowing him down is a possibility.
They can’t focus all of their attention on Vick, they still have to worry about Dunn and Duckett as well. The 2012 Atlanta Falcons defense finished in the bottom half in terms of rushing defense allowing 123.2 yards per game. If the 2012 squad wants to win this game, they would have to force Vick to pass and shut down the run.
For the 2004 defense, to give them the best chance to win, of course, Vick has to show up but the defense has to try to neutralize all the weapons on the offensive side of the ball for the 2012 Falcons. It’s going to be a pick your poison type of deal when it comes to handling the 2012 offense but the 2004 team has something that could assist in those efforts.
The 2004 defense had the ability to cause turnovers and a very good pass rush not only from the outside but up the middle as well. This defense has the ability to make it a long day for Ryan and crew.
This could be an unpopular opinion but in this case, the 2004 Atlanta Falcons would be able to pull off the upset due to this one thing: controlling the clock. Yes, the 2012 Falcons had the quick-strike ability but what about on defense? Could that defense slow down the running game of the 2004 Falcons and make Vick pass? Probably not.
If the running game is working for the 2004 team, it just makes the play-action/rollout plays that much more dangerous. The 2012 defense would have no choice but to keep eyes on Vick but they can’t afford to forget about the other two guys in that backfield that are more than capable of making their own plays.
Greatest Atlanta Falcons team under the ownership of Arthur Blank goes to the 2004 squad. Yes, Matt Ryan is better than Vick and some of the individual pieces on 2012 were better, but 2004 had a better overall defense and defense wins championships.