Before this year began, I suggested multiple times that this Falcons defense might be able to pull down 40 sacks in 2017. While sacks never tell the whole story with a pass rush, they are a useful indicator of the work you’re doing in chasing down the quarterback, and the Falcons haven’t sniffed the 40 sack plateau in a good long while. Given their obvious talent, it seemed like a less-than-farfetched prediction.
The good news is that the Falcons are on pace to exceed 40 sacks. The great news is that they’re actually on pace to exceed 50. 56, to be exact.
They got to Mike Glennon four times in the season opener, and working against a Packers team without its starting tackles, they got to Aaron Rodgers three more times. Currently, Vic Beasley and Brooks Reed are tied for the team lead with two each.
I don’t have to tell you that such a blistering pace will be difficult to maintain, but I also don’t have to tell you that this is not completely farfetched, because you’ve seen how the Falcons pass rush is functioning this season. It blows a bit hot and cold, but when the pressure comes, it has been mighty effective. Assuming Beasley isn’t going to miss much time and Takkarist McKinley continues to improve, the Falcons should post their best sack total in nearly a decade, and they should continue to be a disruptive, effective defense.
We’ll see if they can take down Matthew Stafford a few times on the road next Sunday against the Lions and continue this pace. For once, I’m really bullish about the odds of that happening.