The Atlanta Falcons offensive and defensive units have been discussed in length this offseason, but there is one player who is flying under the radar.
For most of their existence, the Atlanta Falcons have not been very good but especially on the defensive side of the ball. The last three Falcons coaches that have lasted at least two seasons were all defensive-minded coaches, which makes the last 20 years stick out like a sore thumb.
We all know the defensive line has to get better and we all know that the secondary is talented but very young. Everyone is talking about Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and Keanu Neal and how they have to elevate their play another level in 2020.
However, there is an important piece that no one seems to mention when talking about the pieces on the roster for 2020.
Allen has started 64 of the 65 games he has played in for the Atlanta Falcons and has developed into the team leader of defense; he has become the quarterback of the defense. His injury in 2018 that caused him to miss 13 games, was a real blow to the Falcons, and getting him back in 2019 was desperately needed.
In 2019, he had a career-high eight passes batted down in addition to two interceptions and 85 tackles. His 85 tackles were the most since 2016 when he had 90.
Ricardo Allen will help guide a young Atlanta Falcons defense
The Falcons are going to rely heavily on Allen in 2020 as they send out corners that are all under the age of 25 and Keanu Neal, who has missed 28 games over the last two years due to ACL and Achilles injuries. While Allen does not get the recognition nationally that he deserves, he is one of the best safeties in the NFL and will be counted on big time in 2020.
Backing Ricardo Allen up in 2020 will be Sharrod Neasmith and while he has been just fine during his Falcons tenure, he isn’t Ricardo Allen and there is a dramatic drop-off when it comes to the play of the two. This alone makes Allen staying healthy and productive in 2020 even more important.
With Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen leading the way in 2020 and the addition of Dante Fowler and Charles Harris the Atlanta Falcons defense should be much improved and help them overcome back to back losing seasons.