Looking at the Falcons leaders in sacks through the years
If you are an Atlanta Falcons fan, you are used to seeing your defense have a total inability to put any sort of consistent pressure on the opponent’s quarterback. It has been a chronic issue really ever since 2004.
2004 was the last time the Falcons have ranked top ten in team sacks, and they were actually number one in the league.
Taking a look at the Falcons leader in sacks since 2010
The Atlanta Falcons have had one good single-season effort by a pass rusher since John Abraham and that was when Vic Beasley led the league with 15.5 sacks on the year. Sadly, that turned out to be a fluke year for the athletic edge rusher.
Here are the Falcons leader in sacks year by year since 2011:
- 2021: Dante Fowler Jr. – 4.5
- 2020: Deion Jones – 4.5
- 2019: Vic Beasley – 8
- 2018: Takkarist McKinley – 7
- 2017: Adrian Clayborn – 9.5
- 2016: Vic Beasley – 15.5
- 2015: Vic Beasley – 4
- 2014: Kroy Biermann – 4.5
- 2013: Osi Umenyiora – 7.5
- 2012: John Abraham – 10
- 2011: John Abraham – 9.5
- 2010: John Abraham – 13
The first thing that sticks out is how many seasons a player with fewer than five sacks have led the Falcons. It is really sad to see, as not having any player on your team reach double digits in sack numbers is considered a failure for the team, much less, having less than five.
Most people would also probably not realize just how many times Vic Beasley did lead the team in sacks, while it is only three times it shows just how bad they have been. In his rookie year, he led the team with a whopping four sacks.
The fact that Deion Jones led the team in 2020 is also ridiculous, your middle linebacker should never be the leader in sacks, it points directly to the Falcons inability to find a premium edge rusher.
The last time Atlanta strung together two straight years with a player breaking double-digit sacks was 2007 to 2008 when John Abraham had 10 and 16.5 respectively.
One can only hope that the Atlanta Falcons have finally found their elite edge rusher between Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie, or DeAngelo Malone. Time will tell but one thing is for sure, this team needs to change its history of misfortunes at the position around.