Southern Swiss Cheese Aka the Falcons Defense
As many problems as the Atlanta Falcons have on offense, the defense is significantly worse. The pass defense has been particularly problematic. Wide receivers are running wide open across the Falcons defensive formations regularly. Busted coverages have become a frequent occurrence.
The Atlanta Falcons have allowed two of the last three quarterbacks that they have faced to throw for more than three hundred yards. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett started the game an unthinkable 15/15, en route to a three-touchdown game.
This week the damage was even more severe. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson who hails from Gainesville, Georgia, threw for 426 yards and a whopping five touchdowns. Atlanta only forced Watson into five incompletions and he posted a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 against the Falcons hapless defense. It was truly a historic day for the Houston quarterback.
The beatdown was historic from the Atlanta Falcons perspective as well. They had not given up this many points in a game since 2004. It was also the third-highest point total allowed in the NFL this year.
For the second consecutive week, the Atlanta Falcons defense was unable to produce a sack or a turnover. They have only broken up one pass in the last two games. The defense was only able to hit Deshaun Watson once and only had three tackles for a loss.
The Atlanta Falcons defense now ranks number 24 in yards allowed. They rank number 31 in points allowed, with only the winless Miami Dolphins having allowed more.
The unit has forced a measly three turnovers through five games. They have also allowed opponents to convert an unbelievable 56 percent of 3rd down plays, which is tied for the second worse percentage in the league.
The Atlanta Falcons Non-existent Pass Rush
Vic Beasley has been a major disappointment while being paid 12.8 million dollars in this last year of his rookie deal. He only has 1.5 sacks so far in 2019. Beasley failed to make the box score against Houston, meaning he did not record a single tackle. The worst thing about that is he also did this in a game last season.
There are 88 NFL edge rushers that have a better Pro Football Focus grade than the 56.7 that Vic Beasley has posted. As I have said all along, the Atlanta Falcons made a mistake by not moving on from Vic in the offseason. His salary could have been used on a much more productive player, or multiple players.
Takk McKinley who plays on the opposite edge of the Atlanta Falcons defensive line is more disruptive than Vic Beasley. Yet he can not seem to finish sacks. He has even fewer sacks than Vic with only one half-sack so far this year.
Takk McKinley ranks as the number 60 edge rusher in the NFL. He and Beasley not producing are the biggest reasons that the Atlanta Falcons have only five sacks on the season. That ties them for the lowest team total in the NFL.
Takk talks a great game, but at this point, his words outweigh his production. McKinley has vowed to cut his dreadlocks if he does not reach the ten sack mark this season. He might as well get a head start and cut them now because it is not going to happen.