There were many advantages to this bye week for the Atlanta Falcons. Nothing beats the improved team health, of course, but you also have to consider that the team had a chance to take a step back, evaluate their weaknesses through four weeks, and make adjustments that will hopefully prove fruitful over the rest of the season.
Aside from individual performances, missed tackles, and the need to get more takeaways, I doubt Atlanta is overly concerned with their defense. That side of the ball is top ten for the first time in recent memory, which is pretty incredible regardless of who they’ve played to this point. That they’ve done so without some key defenders and without many turnovers really tells you how well they’ve played.
Falcons have climbed to tenth in the NFL in total defense after tonight's game.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) October 10, 2017
You have to remember that this team has had a bye already, which helps those numbers, but this is still pretty remarkable given where this defense has been in the past few years. I don’t anticipate them losing much—if any—ground this coming Sunday when they play a Dolphins team that has looked inept offensively for much of the season.
Three teams in the NFL are currently in the top ten in total offense and defense: Atlanta, Minnesota and Washington.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) October 10, 2017
Coupled with an offense that is still among the top ten after the bye—all of which are in the NFC, though the Vikings are due to fall off minus Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook—the Falcons look like one of the best teams in the league again. That they’ve gotten to 3-1 and those kinds of rankings without playing their best football speaks volumes about what their best football might look like.