ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons dives to tackle Mike Williams #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during play at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons won 45-24. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
If you feel I've harped on tackling in the past, gird yourselves. I'm about to go all bard on your collective persons.
Tackling is one of the most fundamental skills in the game of football, yet some otherwise fine players are exceedingly terrible at it. The Atlanta Falcons have a couple of those players, and many more who simply could not consistently wrap up and bring down whoever happened to have the ball in their hands.
You saw it in the form of straight-up missed tackles, broken tackles, tiny vaunted quarterbacks slipping away from defensive ends and one hundred other variations that seemed specifically designed to turn Falcons fans from reasonable, rational people into human volcanoes spewing rage around their apartments and homes. Those missed tackles gave opposing offenses yards, first downs and touchdowns, and ultimately that ends up hurting the team.
Were they the worst tackling team in 2012? Nope. I bet you could rattle off five more that were worse right off the top of your head. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that an otherwise quality football team cost themselves chances to make a stop because they have a nasty habit of blowing tackles.
The Falcons must get better at tackling in 2012, and it needs to be a focus throughout the off-season. The Falcons too often struggled to do some of the important, fundamental things good defenses do, and they still managed to put a quality D on the field. They can—and hopefully will—do better with more consistent tackling.
Do you think 2012 will be a better year for tackling?