The Atlanta Falcons defense seems poised to turn some heads in 2020, which should make fans excited about what’s to come next month.
It wasn’t too long ago that there was no hope for the Atlanta Falcons defense. Guys were struggling, injuries were piling up, guys like Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley were struggling, it was basically a hot mess for a season and a half. Then, changes were made on the defensive side of the ball and it seemed like things had finally turned around.
The Atlanta Falcons pulled off some great wins and massive upsets during the second half of the season, with the team finally looking like the 2016 and 2017 Atlanta Falcons that were so good and so much fun to watch.
The biggest reason for the turnaround was the defense and because of this, the Atlanta Falcons finished the 2019 season with a lot of momentum heading into the 2020 offseason. This defensive momentum was only boosted by the signing of Dante Fowler, who was coming off of a very impressive season with the Los Angeles Rams where he recorded 11.5 sacks.
More changes were made on defense, both on the coaching staff and with personnel, most notably Vic Beasley being let go. With those changes, came even more excitement. Now, with the season drawing near, Atlanta Falcons fans are getting finally see and read about some of the guys who will be anchoring the new-look defense.
Newly acquired Atlanta Falcons are fitting in nicely
Just recently, reports came out about Fowler learning the system very quickly and it seems as though his confidence is at an all-time high because of that. He believes his 11.5 sacks weren’t just because Aaron Donald was getting all the attention and he is out to prove that he is an elite pass rusher.
Grady Jarrett seems to be more determined than ever to prove that is among the very best players in the NFL, and, considering the fact that he looks like the “Incredible Hulk” now, I’d say that feat is very possible. McKinley has lost weight as it looks like he is finally ready to take that next step into becoming the legitimate pass rusher that we all know he can be.
Many of the young guys in the secondary look poised take the next step and become every-down starters. Sheffield, in particular, is a guy that holds a lot of potential and it will be exciting to see what he can do in his sophomore season.
Let’s not forget about Keanu Neal though.
This is a guy that plays his heart out every game and is more deserving than anyone to have a bounce-back season after enduring back-to-back shortened seasons due to injury. Neal will be hungry to prove that he is still the hard-hitting, fast-paced safety we have all grown to love.
Hope is a dangerous thing to have as a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, but it is hard to not look at his defense with eagerness and excitement. This is a team that has not met expectations in back-to-back seasons and they know it.
While the offense has been up to standards, for the most part, the defense hasn’t and that is apparent when reading about the mentality of the guys on that side of the ball, as well as seeing the work that they have been putting in during the quarantine.
It’s time to get excited Atlanta Falcons fans because this defense could very well be one of the greatest in the organization’s history. These guys know what they are capable of and they will show the NFL that they are among the league’s best.