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Atlanta Falcons talk: How much defensive improvement is in the offing?

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The Falcons got to a top ten defense in many metrics, but can they rise even higher?

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Falcons, it should be noted, were a top ten defense by several metrics in 2017. They improved by leaps and bounds, especially late in the year, and finished the year on an impressive note when they held the Super Bowl-winning Eagles to just 15 points.

Now, heading into 2018, the Falcons seem to be on the cusp of an elite defense. To really stick the landing, they’re going to need to add a piece or two and hope for good health, but even modest improvement will put them among the league’s better units. The question is, how much improvement is in the offing?

As I was a year ago, I’m very bullish on the team finding yet another level this coming season. They have to address defensive tackle and depth issues, and they’ll need both Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley to play very well in order to have a quality pass rush, but there’s simply too much talent here to doubt. The sluggish start to the 2017 season was hopefully something we won’t see again, and I do think the Falcons will wind up being a top ten defense once more. I also think they’ll look like one all year (with the typical couple of rough games along the way against quality opponents), which should make a difference in just how good this team ends up being.

We’ll have to wait a while to find out, but I’ve got the team making real strides yet again on defense, in other words, and they have an outside shot to be one of the league’s top five units. What say you?