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Atlanta Falcons talk: How good can this defense be?

We all agree the answer is at least “good,” but just how good?

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons defense has, for all its lapses, looked like an improved unit this year. They’ve been able to hold down the inflated point totals that sometimes doomed them a year ago, apply more consistent pressure on quarterbacks on balance, and they even turned the corner a bit against the run versus the Jets. The arrows are largely pointing up here for a healthy, talented unit.

Now that we’ve seen seven games with this defense, though, how good do we think they will be?

I have sky high hopes for the group, assuming the Falcons can keep adding and nurturing talent. They have two potentially elite linebackers, two above average pass rushers with the potential to be truly great, and all the pieces you need for one of the league’s best secondaries. Over the next 2-3 seasons, I absolutely see this team having a top ten defense at some point, assuming they haven’t whiffed on players like Duke Riley and Damontae Kazee, and that they don’t run into a cap crunch that causes them to bleed talent. I think they’re on the cusp of it already, and they just need to start grabbing turnovers and making clean tackles to push them very close to it.

How about you? Once you’ve answered, please consider this tonight’s open thread.