I don’t know if I believe that the Atlanta Falcons are a top ten defense in the NFL at this exact moment, but regardless of what I believe, the stats suggest they are.
Atlanta held the Cowboys to under 300 total yards and just seven points today, which was enough to catapult them from top 15 in total defense to top ten. I should update this post to note that total defense is yardage only, though the Falcons are one of the better defenses in the NFL in holding teams in check. While they’ve had their fair share of shaky performances, Sunday’s was a dominant one, and there’s no doubt that the talent base is good enough for them to finish at this level. They’ll just have to somehow keep doing this.
Falcons now 7th in the NFL in total defense through all games completed today. They came into today 12th in total defense.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) November 13, 2017
Conti noted, too, that the Falcons are tenth in scoring defense.
The Falcons won’t have eight sacks every week, and they won’t be facing teams down their dominant left tackles and starting running backs, but expecting them to hold teams in check on a weekly basis isn’t really unreasonable. They’ve done it most of the year, and only the Saints truly frighten me the rest of the way, so there is a genuine chance Atlanta will finish there.
We’re getting closer and closer to Dan Quinn’s vision for the defense, even if we’re not quite sure how close the Atlanta Falcons are to being a great team again. Let us hope it is close.