The Falcons are at an interesting impasse. They have a smallish Super Bowl window and they need to win now, because it might get ugly in 4-5 years. Now is when they need individual players to step up and play exceptional football. Given that, it’s an apt time to look back and acknowledge some of the best individual seasons in Falcons history. We’re continuing this series with a look at the best single seasons by Falcons defensive tackles. So join us, Falcoholics, as we embark on another great adventure!
Grady Jarrett - 2019 (26 years old)
7 sacks, 16 QB hits, 69 combined tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles
Jarrett finally earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2019. Notwithstanding mediocre performance after mediocre performance by the defense, Jarrett found a way to shine last season. He deserves all the credit in the world for turning in such dominating performances, even after the Falcons were no longer relevant in the playoff conversation. Jarrrett is in his prime and we’re lucky to watch him suit up in red and black every Sunday.
Rod Coleman - 2005 (29 years old)
10.5 sacks, 40 combined tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 6 passes defended
Coleman earned his one and only Pro Bowl nod in 2005, along with second-team All Pro honors. The Falcons drafted Jonathan Babineaux in 2005, for what that’s worth. (Maybe Coleman was motivated by the infusion of youth or afraid of losing his job.) Coleman’s tenacious play (his October was otherworldly) got the Falcons out to a 6-2 start but the team’s second half was catastrophic, resulting in an 8-8 record.
Tony Casillas - 1989 (26 years old)
2 sacks, 152 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries
Casillas’ tenure with the Falcons wasn’t always pretty, but his 1989 campaign was truly incredible, and it earned him a second-team All Pro nod. He led NFL defensive lineman in tackles that year. To be sure, tackle totals aren’t an effective way to evaluate a given player’s contributions, but racking up 150+ tackles in a single season is nothing short of impressive.
Travis Hall - 1997 (25 years old)
10.5 sacks, 78 combined tackles, 1 fumble recovery
Hall dominated in the trenches throughout the late 1990s but 1997 was arguably his best year as a professional (and his best year as a Falcon). It was Dan Reeves’ first year as head coach and team owner Rankin Smith died in October of that year. Hall’s brother also committed suicide that year, a horrible tragedy that looking back makes his production even more impressive. Hall was also the first Falcons DT to reach 10 sacks.
Jonathan Babineaux - 2009 (28 years old)
6 sacks, 10 QB hits, 47 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 passes defended
Babs never made a Pro Bowl or earned All-Pro honors but his 2009 was elite by any measure. Jay Ratliff, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams were the interior defensive linemen named to the Pro Bowl that season, for what it’s worth. The Falcons would post winning seasons in consecutive years for the first time ever, something they never would’ve accomplished without Babs. The man was an absolute beast on the football field and he peaked in 2009.
Who had the single greatest DT season as an Atlanta Falcon?
This poll is closed
Grady Jarrett - 2019
Rod Coleman - 2005
Tony Casillas - 1989
Travis Hall - 1997
Jonathan Babineaux - 2009