The Atlanta Falcons have been pretty bad on defense, to put it mildly. It’s when that ineptitude starts intersecting with history that we have a big, big problem, and that’s happening now.
The Falcons have currently gone four straight games without getting a sack. We know, as Mike Smith was fond of saying, that sacks aren’t everything, and the Falcons did manage to get some actual pressure on Jared Goff after spending the previous three largely flailing as a pass rush. But the failure to get even a crumb going after a passer 30-50 times per week is the symptom of a larger problem, and that larger problem is a pass rush loaded up with seemingly capable players (and, to be fair, a few less capable ones) who cannot seem to bring down an opposing quarterback.
Get to five games in a row, though, and you have the worst sack drought in modern NFL history.
Per @pfref, the Falcons are the 7th team in NFL history to go four straight games without a sack. The 2008 Chiefs were the last team to go four games without a sack.— David Branson (@obxleatherman) October 21, 2019
No team has ever gone five straight games without a sack. pic.twitter.com/rW5HNaJOo5
You’ll note from this chart that teams are, somewhat intuitively, very bad when they go on this kind of streak. You’ll also note that since 1970, which stretches back 50 full years now, no one has managed five games in a row without a sack. If the Falcons can’t get Russell Wilson down next week—and Russell Wilson is a damn sorcerer, so that’s quite possible—they’ll be in the history books yet again for something awful that I don’t even want to think about. Classic Falcons.
Let’s hope the pass rush finally roars to life this week so we can avoid this.