2. Ryan Nielsen and Jerry Gray must make needed adjustments to bring more pressure
All the praise the Atlanta Falcons defense was given early on in the season was deserved. However, each of the last three weeks this unit has contributed to losing as much or more than the offensive problems. Each of the last two weeks this defense has given up a long drive to set up the game-winning score. This happening against offenses with obvious issues protecting the quarterback or with key injuries.
Atlanta's secondary isn't the problem, the issue is Atlanta's lack of pressure. No secondary can keep the offense from moving the ball when the quarterback can simply sit back and go through his reads multiple times. The issues for the Falcons on defense all come from the lack of consistent pressure.
Nielsen and Gray are both very experienced defensive coaches and with the talent they have should be able to create a defense that brings more consistent heat. Whether it is using the blitz a bit more or continuing to give Ebiketie more chances over the veterans, adjustments clearly have to be made.
Coming out of the bye is a great test against a New Orleans team that has been struggling. Can Atlanta turn it around or will the defense continue to look more and more like last year's unit?