The secondary has to improve drastically if the Falcons want to have success in 2020

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The Falcons did it to me again. All of the offseason hype had me believing things were finally different after two seasons of below-average play, but Week 1 looked eerily similar to the product we’ve seen since 2018.

One of the primary reasons I started to believe in this 2020 squad was the improvements made in the secondary combined with an improved pass rush. The defensive line showed up, resulting in three sacks and pressure on 41% of Russell Wilson’s dropbacks; however, the defensive backs looked just like they did at the beginning of last season.

After the improvements under Raheem Morris in 2019, I was hopeful that the new additions would be up to the task, especially if the Falcons were able to generate pressure, but they looked lost. There were far too many wide open and quick completions, making things way too easy for one of the game’s best quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson had as many touchdowns as he did incompletions while throwing for well over 300 yards, and those numbers probably would have been much gaudier if Seattle ever needed to pass in the fourth quarter.

Unsurprisingly, the entire Falcons cornerback group received porous grades from PFF. The highest of the bunch was Darqueze Dennard at 50.8, while A.J. Terrell was awarded the lowest mark at 43.8.

The safety unit was slightly better. As I noted earlier today, Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee received the bulk of the snaps, and both graded above 60. However, Ricardo Allen was dismal in the 25 snaps he played, receiving a team-low mark of 29.8.

It was a miserable day all around for the secondary, and the most discouraging aspect was just how easy it was for Wilson. Seattle’s quarterback deserves credit, but he’s not the only one who would have looked that flawless against Atlanta’s defense. A pass can be given because it’s a young cornerback group that did not have a preseason, but the Falcons secondary has to be much better, or it is going to be another underwhelming campaign.

 

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