There are some NFL analysts who don’t think the Falcons have the best defense in football when the game is on the line. By and large, and here I am generalizing, those analysts are unloved, survive on a diet of gas station pizza slices, and write at a seventh grade level.
Then there are the good analysts, the handsome ones with a lot going for them, like NFL.com’s Kyle Brandt. Just listen to this prose, which would stir the heart of the great storytellers of yore.
“You round up all of those stats about rankings in the league and where they rank, I don’t really care about those because they incorporate the first three months, four months of the season,” Brandt said. “The last month of the season, there was not a better defense than the Atlanta Falcons.
“At the end of the season, Dan Quinn had fully made them into the new Seattle Seahawks defense. Defensive coach, good players, I think it’s Atlanta. I don’t care if it’s sexy or not, I think it’s the right pick.”
Wow, Kyle, you are so right. Not only that, but it’s worth suggesting that the way the Falcons have elected to build their defense over the last few years makes them a mortal lock to make Brandt look really smart in 2018.
They’ve loaded up on young, capable pass rushers (Vic Beasley, Takkarist McKinley, Grady Jarrett), stock their corps of linebackers with plus athletes who produce (Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell), and assembled an absurdly great, deep secondary. By virtually any standard you can think of, they have the talent to be one of the best defenses in the league, and their athleticism makes them dangerous with the game on the line. I’m not 100% certain the pass rush will be great or that they’ll get turnovers at the clip they need to in order to be truly elite, but I’m feeling pretty damn confident.
As is Kyle Brandt, the best NFL.com analyst.