If we’re learned one thing over the years, it’s that the the best teams are not necessarily the beefiest teams. This isn’t the 1980s or early 1990s, when huge linemen, plodding power backs, and 350 pound defensive tackles could rule the day. This is a light, agile league, and as we learned from the Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai additions, adding weight to try to improve a run defense doesn’t always work.
So the Falcons are, as you’d expect from the headline, not all that heavy. Is that a liability? No.
Per NFL Trade Rumors, the Falcons once again rank as the lightest team in the entire NFL by weight, with just over 239 pounds on average. They’re also one of the older teams, a stat skewed a bit by the presence of players like Matt Bryant, and also not the topic we want to talk about today. Instead, I want to remind people why this isn’t a bad thing, especially compared to a year like say 2013, where the Falcons were a light team without the requisite speed and physicality to make up for that.
The Falcons are one of the faster teams in the league, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, where Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell, Duke Riley, and others are capable of closing the gap with alarming quickness. Those guys are, by and large, strong enough to make up for any lack of size, and the speed they bring to the table is game-changing. There’s a reason we talk about this defense as an ascendant one, a reason Dan Quinn refers to them as fast and physical, and even a reason he asked Dontari Poe to slim down. The Falcons are built to be lighter on defense, and on offense, their linemen have to be light on their feet.