The Falcons pass rush is notoriously bad. It's very predictable. No matter how much they try, the Falcons just can't get it done. Game to game, heck year to year, these are the days of our lives. Through 4 games, the Falcons have logged only 3 sacks, second-worst in the NFL. While sacks aren't everything, the other pass rush indicators aren't real encouraging either. The Falcons have logged just six quarterback hits and only 45 quarterback hurries. But what's the problem? If it were easy to diagnose or fix, you'd think it'd be a non-issue by now, especially with a defense-oriented head coach. Let's consider the possibilities.
Mike Smith thinks it's the run defense's fault.
We gave up the explosive pass plays. It still predicated to me that you have to try and make a team one dimensional. When you can make a team one dimensional, then you can put more resources into attacking the quarterback. When you do that there is a risk/reward that you have to deal with, but we’ve got to get better in all phases of our defense and become more consistent.
He's not wrong. We aren't apt to make teams one dimensional this year. The Falcons currently have the 30th ranked rush defense, giving up over 150 rush yards/game. If that doesn't change, the Falcons pass rush woes won't change.
We can also blame it on specific players. Through 4 games, 4 players have rated negatively as pass rushers. They are Maliciah Goodman (-1.7), Osi Umenyiora (-2.1), Jonathan Massaquoi (-2.8), and Kroy Biermann (-5.5). I understand Goodman, to an extent, because that's not exactly his role. But Umenyiora, Massaquoi, and Biermann have been laughably bad at what is supposed to be their strength. On the other side of the coin, Jonathan Babineaux (2.2), Paul Soliai (1.9), and Paul Worrilow (1.2) have rated positively as pass rushers.
Then there's the coaching staff. The Falcons' pass rush has an -7.0 rating, 4th worst in the league, through 4 games. On some level, you have to blame the coaching staff for that. Whether it's dropping Stansley Maponga and Biermann into coverage, or repeatedly failing to make adjustments, there's something amiss from a schematic standpoint.