The Atlanta Falcons began the 2022 campaign with low expectations but turned in another promising season under the new regime. The offense became one of football’s most dominant rushing units, and the special teams was among the league’s best. As far as the defense… it can only go up, right? There are plenty of resources to improve the roster as well. As we look forward to a pivotal offseason, I’ll continue my series reviewing the Atlanta Falcons season by position, moving onto the edge defenders.
Atlanta Falcons 2022 season in review: Edge Defenders
The Falcons’ defense has been one of the worst in recent memory at pressuring opposing quarterbacks. Atlanta has posted 39 sacks over the last two years; several individual players have totaled more sacks than the Falcons’ defense has as a whole. It’s honestly embarrassing.
Despite there being a multitude of reasons for the lack of pass rush, the EDGE group is the driving factor. Lorenzo Carter and Ade Ogundeji started most of the games, with rookies Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone playing supplemental roles. There needs to be improvement across the board.
- Lorenzo Carter: 54 tackles, four sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery, two pass deflections, 33 quarterback pressures, eight quarterback hits. two touchdowns
- Ade Ogundeji: 38 tackles, two sacks, six quarterback pressures
- Arnold Ebiketie: 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two pass deflections, one forced fumble, 28 quarterback pressures, nine quarterback hits
- DeAngelo Malone: 23 tackles, one sack, seven quarterback pressures, one quarterback hit
The Falcons need more than just edge rushers. The interior defensive line, the second level, and the secondary are all culpable in the disappointing pass rush. Atlanta will still need more out of this group.
Lorenzo Carter probably did enough to earn another contract, but it’s not a very good group if he’s your defense’s top pass rusher. The front office will hope for substantial leaps from Ogundeji, Ebiketie, and Malone. Even still, there needs to be a proven guy in the room. Robert Quinn and Brandon Graham are possible free agent targets.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire