Marshall Faulk has a serious question for SB Nation NFL bloggers this week--what bold decision would we like to see from our teams at this point of the season?
Faulk raises an interesting, and timely, question for the Falcons, who are currently 2-2 and tied for the lead in the NFC South, but it's become glaringly obvious that the team is going to have a difficult time achieving any significant success this season with such a weak defense.
I don't think the Falcons really need to make any bold decisions on the offensive side of the ball, even taking the offensive line injuries into consideration. The Falcons' offense has been pretty successful in general. If the defense just managed to be adequate, it should be enough for the offense to outscore anyone. The problem is that the defense hasn't been adequate thus far, with the exception of the beatdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Falcons are currently 31st in the league for yards allowed per game, 30th in the league for passing yards allowed per game, and 28th in the league for rushing yards allowed per game. The Falcons are surprisingly not dead last in sack totals, but they are tied with Arizona for second-worst in the league with three total sacks all season. All three of those sacks came against the Buccaneers. The Falcons are 29th in the league for points allowed per game. It's not a pretty picture.
The bold decision I would like to see the team make would be to admit that their defensive approach isn't working and actually adjust it. This is a team and a coaching staff that has generally been averse to change, but when a defense is struggling to the extent that the Falcons' defense is, it's time to make some changes.
The Falcons don't have a truly dominant pass rusher on the roster and they've chosen to play the guys who have a better chance of getting to the quarterback sparingly. While it shouldn't take a bold decision on the part of the Falcons to give more snaps to the players who have a better chance of getting to the quarterback, for this particular coaching staff, it almost certainly would. The Falcons can't change the fact that their defense only has so much talent, but they can, and should, choose to use the players they do have on the defensive roster to their strengths. Let Jonathan Massaquoi and Stansley Maponga have enough snaps to actually try to generate a pass rush. Let Corey Peters, who has a nose for the quarterback and is solid against the run, have some more time on the field. For the love of all that is sacred and holy, stop dropping Kroy Biermann into coverage.
What bold decision would you like to see from the Falcons at this point of the season?