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Atlanta Falcons 2018 quarter season pace on defense is not pretty

The Falcons are on pace to perform far worse than they did in 2017.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Team Pace

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

12 tackles

DE Derrick Shelby

12 tackles

DE Steven Means

4 tackles

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

16 tackles

DT Jack Crawford

20 tackles

LB De’Vondre Campbell

104 tackles

LB Duke Riley

112 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit

LB Foye Oluokun

44 tackles

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

24 tackles

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.