Even though some Falcons fans don’t want to hear it, this defense is worse than last year’s unit under the Dan Quinn/ Raheem Morris tandem. Dean Pees isn’t necessarily washed up either; the Falcons’ lack of personnel can be attributed to the defense’s overall performance. Pees’ defense has struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks all season long. What makes things worse is against the Dolphins and Panthers, two of the most abysmal offensive lines in the league, the Falcons couldn’t get the pass rush going. Deion Jones was the lone player with a sack against Miami, while Carolina kept Sam Darnold clean and upright.
There are so many different analytics that elude to just how bad this pass rush really is, ranking nearly last in every major statistic — fifth to last in QB hurries (27) and QB knockdowns (20), dead last in sacks (11), and tied for last in total pressures (58). The Falcons have such few sacks through nine games that some individual players have totaled more than the entire Atlanta defense.
The Falcons are essentially the least effective pass rushing team in the league. The metrics don’t lie, finishing last or near last in pressures, sacks, and hurries. Even still, some of us don’t necessarily put everything into the analytics. Well, the eye test should tell you the same thing. Opposing quarterbacks can often sit back in the pocket and go through their progressions without much interference.
This pass rush just hasn’t been able to generate much pressure, which affects the overall defense. Pees’ unit ranks second to last in points per game (29.2), second to last in third-down conversions (47.3%), and fifth to last in red zone defense (71.4%). The Falcons will not win many games this year on their defense’s back alone, but there are a couple of pieces worth keeping an eye on going forward.