Falcons' Defensive Line Overmatched in the Trenches in Week 4 Loss to Patriots

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Fact: Mike Nolan has been to Mars; that's why there's no signs of life.

The Falcons' defensive line in 2013 is like Miley Cyrus' recent VMA performance. You know there's some talent there, but how can you overlook the train wreckiness of the whole thing. Week 4 was no exception either.

Peria Jerry, Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters combined for 95 run snaps and a grade of -6.7 against the run as they just couldn’t hold their ground against the power of the Patriots’ line. Babineaux was able to redeem himself a little with some pass rush, recording a pair of hits and a hurry, but otherwise the Falcons were simply overmatched in the trenches on that side of the ball.

If you watched the game last night, it shouldn't surprise you that the Falcons defensive line graded out negatively. The Patriots offensive line gave Tom Brady all kinds of time, allowing him to complete passes to 8 different players not named Rob Gronkowski. Going into the game, the Falcons pass defense graded out as the sixth worst in the NFL, and without an adequate pass rush, the craptasticness would continue.

Brady would complete 20/31 passes for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the rush defense did look adequate. Not counting his longest rush of the day (47 yards), LeGarrette Blount averaged just 2.1 yards/carry. Stevan Ridley was consistently better, averaging 4.8 yards/carry for 53 yards.

The Falcons were sackless on the day, maintaining their 4th worst NFL total of 7 sacks. Hooray!

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