Watching the Atlanta Falcons play defense this season was like watching some small high school football team that nobody knew existed trying to defend against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. And yes, the Falcons’ defense was bad to the point where their horrific play on this side of the ball makes the Dallas Cowboys’ defense look so much better, even though they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
To put it in the simplest NBA terms, its like asking Jeremy Lin to guard Lebron James one-on-one… that is how bad the Falcons have played defensively this year.
With only one game left to go and the front office well ahead of schedule in terms of reflecting not only the disappointing season, but how poorly they have played on defense against every single team. This season alone, the Falcons lead the NFL in giving up big plays of 40 yards or more, and have made some of the worst offensive teams like the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans look like an offensive machine.
Currently, the Falcons rank rank 27th out of 32 teams in scoring defense, 29th in total defense, 29th in rushing defense, and 29th in pass defense with one game left to go this coming Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. In less than a year, these same Falcons were one of the best defenses in the red zone, third downs and takeaways. Even though the Falcons have had to deal with multiple injuries to some of their best players, this gives them no excuse to play this poorly.
From defensive ends to defensive backs to linebackers, the Falcons have a plethora of youth players, but unfortunately for them, they have made little to zero impact when it counted. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan understands that this was an epic failure, and has much in common with the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, which is not good at all.
The Falcons will try to regroup this upcoming offseason and try to shore up a defense that was invisible, but they have a long road ahead of them before teams can take them seriously. When it is all said and done, the Falcons may have had their worst defensive season since coach Mike Smith took over the team back in 2008. With the defense failing miserably, they can only hope for better days and try to rebuild a broken system.