We looked at the team’s offensive pace through four games earlier this week, which was pretty encouraging. They’re on pace to blow right by what they did in 2017 in almost every area, and we’ll hope they’ll end the season with a top five offense that somehow pushes them into the playoffs.
To get there, though, they’ll have to overcome or improve a defense that’s on pace to set at least one unfortunate team mark.
Buckle up for some sobering numbers.
Points Allowed: 488 (315)
Yards Allowed: 6,488 (5,094)
Passing Yards Allowed: 4,544 (3,429)
Rushing Yards Allowed: 1,944 (1,665)
Penalties: 140 (103)
The last time the Falcons allowed that many points in a season? Never.
It’s unlikely that the team will continue to be quite this bad if they can get the players they currently have healthy and comfortable, but the picture’s still unlikely to be pretty. You can make a reasonable argument that the defense was playing a bit over its head in 2017, but we’re seeing what happens when you lose 3-4 of your best defenders at once and some of your most reliable starters falter. I really hope we’re not sitting here at the end of this season talking about the Falcons breaking their franchise record for points allowed.
Player Pace (All tackle totals combined)
DE Vic Beasley
24 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 pass deflections
DE Takkarist McKinley
24 tackles, 20 sacks, 24 quarterback hits
DE Brooks Reed
DE Derrick Shelby
DE Steven Means
DT Grady Jarrett
64 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hits
DT Deadrin Senat
28 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 quarterback hits
DT Terrell McClain
DT Jack Crawford
LB De’Vondre Campbell
LB Duke Riley
112 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit
LB Foye Oluokun
CB Desmond Trufant
80 tackles, 12 pass deflections
CB Robert Alford
40 tackles, 16 pass deflections
CB Brian Poole
100 tackles, 8 sacks, 8 pass deflections, 12 quarterback hits
CB Isaiah Oliver
24 tackles, 4 pass deflections
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
8 tackles, 4 pass deflections
S Damontae Kazee
44 tackles, 4 interceptions, 8 pass deflections
S Jordan Richards
Suffice to say this team is going to continue to struggle if their defense is playing at the current level and they have only three players apiece with an interception or sack. The Falcons also have zero forced fumbles on defense thus far in 2018.