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The Falcons have only had two top 10 defenses since 1998

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https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/5/18/18627770/the-falcons-have-only-had-two-top-10-defenses-since-1998

The Falcons have only had two top 10 defenses since 1998

Expecting the Falcons to take a leap this year? Beware history.

By Dave Choate  May 18, 2019, 3:00pm EDT
 

Having a good Saturday? Well, time to talk about the Falcons defense!

There has been a lot of discussion about this Falcons defense and what we might reasonably expect from it. With better health and some key additions like Adrian Clayborn, Tyeler Davison, and depth in the secondary, it seems reasonable to expect it will not be a massive liability the way it was throughout much of the first half of the 2018 season, but can it be the (at least on paper) top ten unit it was in 2017?

The chief reason to be skeptical (and I am) hinges on history. Here is the complete list of defenses that have been top ten in points and yards allowed since 1998.

  • 2017: Points: 8, Yards: 9
  • 1998: Points: 4, Yards: 8

Here’s the complete list of Falcons defenses that have been top ten in either points or yards allowed since 1998.

  • 2012: Points: 5, Yards: 24
  • 2010: Points: 5, Yards: 16
  • 2002: Points: 8, Yards: 19

That’s it! That’s the list.

This tells a pretty somber story, but not one that is going to surprise the bulk of Falcons fans. This team has had some superlative talent on defense over the years, but rarely enough to push them into being what we would consider a good defense. The 1998 Super Bowl team boasted a phenomenal unit, that 2017 team was stingy and dangerous and nearly smothered the Eagles in the playoffs, and the team was opportunistic enough to hold teams in check in 2010 and 2012. But that really has been about it, and any chance of the team repeating their success in 2017 was destroyed by the cumulative loss of Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen, and Deion Jones, plus injuries and ineffectiveness for key players like Robert Alford and Vic Beasley.

This is why the Falcons, despite their evident talent and Dan Quinn’s hands-onedness, shouldn’t be counted on to take a major leap on that side of the ball in 2019. I’m confident they’ll be much better than they were a year ago, and I’m equally confident that being top ten in points and yards isn’t the end-all, be-all story for a defense. But I’m also pretty hard-pressed to be confident that the team will reach those lofty heights given that they’ve done so just twice in 1998, and they’ve only been top ten in points five times and yards just the two times in that span. With the offense in place, even modest improvement will do the trick, but the grandest surprise would be one of the league’s best rankings for a unit that could do it despite the weight of history.

ADAMSVILLE GYM likes this

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I care about points Defense more than Yards especially if the offense Jumps in to big leads. The teams can become one dimensional throwing which works with DQs aggressive defensive play calling.

Schwarzwald and Drew4719 like this

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Our defense showed signs of improvement the last 10 weeks of 2018.  Only allowed 222 passing ypg over that stretch.

Our defense will closely resemble 2017, not 2018

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Points matter. Yards not so much. You win a game by 20 while yielding ten miles of garbage yards, makes you look terrible on paper...yards-wise.

Drew4719 and Vandy like this

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On 5/18/2019 at 7:26 PM, Falconsin2012 said:

Our defense showed signs of improvement the last 10 weeks of 2018.  Only allowed 222 passing ypg over that stretch.

Our defense will closely resemble 2017, not 2018

 

On 5/18/2019 at 4:32 PM, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:

2019 "Top 7"

 

We've said this type of stuff every year and it hasn't happened. It's best to stay optimistic about it. I have to see it on the field to believe. I have no doubt about the offense being no worse than top 10 because they've proven it year in and year out with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. 

Schwarzwald and vel like this

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39 minutes ago, mqg96 said:

 

 

We've said this type of stuff every year and it hasn't happened. It's best to stay optimistic about it. I have to see it on the field to believe. I have no doubt about the offense being no worse than top 10 because they've proven it year in and year out with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. 

Yep. Every year there is a "This is the year we hit the top ten" and then....excuses. 

We know what a consistent top ten offense looks like. We have no clue what a real top ten defense looks like for 16 games. They've shown sparks, but not the consistency. I'm not willing to put money on them yet. 

Schwarzwald, duckhoa, Vandy and 1 other like this

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We wasted 2017 because of freaking Sark. Offense couldn't put up points to save their life.

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53 minutes ago, Osiruz said:

We wasted 2017 because of freaking Sark. Offense couldn't put up points to save their life.

And then Sark turned in a master piece with 2018 and the defense no where to be found.

guess what will happen with first year Dirk? Same thing that happened with First year Shanny, and first year Sark.

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Just now, runshoot said:

And then Sark turned in a master piece with 2018 and the defense no where to be found.

guess what will happen with first year Dirk? Same thing that happened with First year Shanny, and first year Sark.

I don't think there will be a learning curve with Dirk. Dirk lit up everyone in his first season here and already is familiar with our pieces. His offense will be even better this go round because he will have 2 rbs that can catch, and one young power back. You are also forgetting a 7 game streak that our offense barely broke 17 ppg against good defenses and got us eliminated from the playoffs, so I wouldn't say it was a masterpiece. 

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5 minutes ago, Osiruz said:

I don't think there will be a learning curve with Dirk. Dirk lit up everyone in his first season here and already is familiar with our pieces. His offense will be even better this go round because he will have 2 rbs that can catch, and one young power back. You are also forgetting a 7 game streak that our offense barely broke 17 ppg against good defenses and got us eliminated from the playoffs, so I wouldn't say it was a masterpiece. 

Im not forgetting our 10th ranked scoring offense. An offense that  would have been ranked 8th avg annually in a non-aberrant scoring season.

I think what you are forgetting is that in the games you are siting during our losing streak, we gave up 28,22,31,26,34. Hard to score when the defense couldnt stop a wet noodle.

Lets also not forget we lost WHILE SCORING 37 and 36 points. Offense wasn't the problem.

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8 minutes ago, runshoot said:

Im not forgetting our 10th ranked scoring offense. An offense that  would have been ranked 8th avg annually in a non-aberrant scoring season.

I think what you are forgetting is that in the games you are siting during our losing streak, we gave up 28,22,31,26,34. Hard to score when the defense couldnt stop a wet noodle.

Lets also not forget we lost WHILE SCORING 37 and 36 points. Offense wasn't the problem.

Those are just excuses, cant win with 17 ppg bro. The offense was 10th ranked against atrocious defenses alone, but was stuck in cement and couldn't go anywhere against good defenses. Also those two games while they get a pink slip where we lost with 37, 36 we had the ball last and the offense choked :tiphat:

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10 hours ago, mqg96 said:

 

 

We've said this type of stuff every year and it hasn't happened. It's best to stay optimistic about it. I have to see it on the field to believe. I have no doubt about the offense being no worse than top 10 because they've proven it year in and year out with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. 

I don't pull for my team safely. I go into my fandom every season with realistic reckless abandon. And realisticly, I see a top 10 O, top 7 D and a top 3 squad for 2019. I see black and red confetti in February! 

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