Remember the first game of the season? The unfortunate loss to the Chicago Bears was a sour one for fans, but there were bright spots. Chief among them was the pass rush.
It may seem like a distant memory now, but the Falcons got almost four sacks in that game. John Abraham had two, Lawrence Sidbury had one and Kroy Biermann got in on the action, too. He also picked a pass and ran it back for a touchdown, which was pretty sweet.
In the three weeks since then, the Falcons haven't gotten one sack. They've struggled to get real, lasting pressure against basically everybody. I was willing to chalk that up to opponents until the woeful Seahawks line held them sackless (unsackish?) for the entire game. In the immortal words of Brother Ali, there's something goin' on up in here that ain't right.
Admittedly, sacks aren't everything. Ray Edwards, who has no sacks this season, applied quality pressure in the first and fourth games of the season. But Tarvaris Jackson's embarrassing success last weekend paints the picture just fine.
The Falcons could really use a pass rush this weekend. Aaron Rodgers does well under pressure, but it's hard for anybody to look fantastic when they're down within a second of the snap. A punishing, quick rush would be extremely disruptive, and getting that on track would be great for the rest of the season.
The key, I think, is getting Jonathan Babineaux back. It's difficult to overstate just how important the hulking defensive tackle is to the pass rush, because his ability to collapse the interior of the line frees everything up. It may not be a total coincidence that the Falcons' pass rush punished the Bears in the first week and have failed to do so since, given that Babs has been MIA the whole time.
I'm of the opinion that getting Babs back will really help up front. What do you see in the cards for the rush?