The Falcons Can't Tackle, But They're Fixing It

Chris Graythen

Why the Falcons drafted some sure-tackling players in the 2013 NFL Draft.

It's an open secret that the Falcons do not tackle particularly well. This is a finesse defense, one that forces a lot of turnovers and depends heavily on confusion and speed to disrupt opposing offenses.

So it's little surprise that Football Outsiders has the Falcons as one of their worst tackling teams in 2012. The only surprise is that they were not the worst, because it felt like it at times. Mike Nolan did a masterful job of disguising fronts and putting his players in a position to succeed, and it was mostly a very successful year for the D. The tackling just didn't follow.

That will need to change in 2013. The Falcons need to take the next step as a defense, and one great way to do that is to ensure that short gains don't turn into long gains. You can only be so creative if you can't, you know, stop someone.

The most encouraging thing you can say is that the Falcons drafted a bunch of players who are, at minimum, solid tacklers. The Falcons are likely to let their young guys contribute quite a bit in Nolan's multi-faceted defense, and it will certainly help them out if they can wrap up.

Your thoughts on the Falcons and their tackling habits?

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