There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Raheem Morris taking over the Atlanta Falcons defense in 2020.
Earlier this week we posted an article telling you that the Atlanta Falcons defense in 2020 was going to be better than advertised and we wholeheartedly believe that. After going back and taking a look at the defense run by Dan Quinn during the first eight weeks and by Raheem Morris in the last eight weeks, it just re-affirmed the original stance.
We all know how difficult the Atlanta Falcons schedule was in 2020. Of the 16 games that they played, 15 of them were against teams that had an offense ranked in the Top 20 of the league. They also played eight games against teams that had an offense ranked in the Top 10 and five games against teams that had an offense ranked in the Top 4.
We looked at three different areas for the 2019 schedule – yards, points, and sacks. Each coach had exactly eight games and there was a major difference in the Atlanta Falcons defense under Raheem Morris than there was with Dan Quinn running the show.
The first eight Atlanta Falcons games under Dan Quinn
All eight of these games were played against teams that finished with offenses ranked in the Top 20 of the NFL 2019 season. When looking at the three categories mentioned above, yards, points, and sacks, the Falcons were not very good under Dan Quinn.
- Yards per game: 379.5
- Points per game: 29.6
- Total sacks: 7
There was zero pass rush generated in the first half of the season under Dan Quinn. To average less than one a game with a Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator as your head coach is terrible, to say the least.
Whether he was forced to make changes or not, he did and the Atlanta Falcons were obviously the benefactor of that chance.
The last eight Atlanta Falcons games under Raheem Morris
Seven of these eight games were played against teams that had a Top 20 offense and five of them were played against teams that finished in the Top 5 of scoring offense in 2019, yet under Morris, they were able to significantly improve in those categories.
- Yards per game: 319.6
- Points per game: 17.6
- Total sacks: 21
Quite the improvement under the scheme that Morris decided to employ during the last eight games of the season and going 6-2 against teams with much better offenses speaks volumes into the capability that Morris has and why we should be excited to see the 2020 version that he will be in charge of.
With the addition of players like A.J. Terrell, Dante Fowler, Charles Harris, and Deone Bucannon, Morris should have plenty of talent to work with and we should see the Atlanta Falcons defense make a major improvement in 2020.