When a team blows a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, that is something that sticks around for awhile. It seems like the Atlanta Falcons are still dealing with that harsh memory.
Atlanta has been 7-9 in each of the last two seasons. They have built an offense that should win more than seven games. Devonta Freeman is not on the team anymore and the Falcons have replaced him with Todd Gurley. Matt Ryan is still capable of playing at a high-level with Julio Jones on the outside. The defensive side of the ball is where Atlanta struggles.
The biggest need the Falcons have is at head coach. The Dan Quinn era needs to end. Since that is not going to happen prior to 2020, this leaves the biggest need being a pass rusher. The Falcons entered the offseason with many needs on the defensive side of the ball. They drafted A.J. Terrell out of Clemson in an attempt to sure up the secondary.
Falcons add pass rusher, still need more
The Falcons added a pass rusher in Dante Fowler Jr. this offseason. He agreed to a three-year, $48 million contract in March. While this is a positive signing, it is not enough to completely change the narrative on the pass rushing ability of the Falcons.
Atlanta finished 28th in the league last season with just 28 sacks. Vic Beasley led the team with eight sacks followed by Grady Jarrett with 7.5. Beasley is now with the Tennessee Titans so that leaves Garrett and Fowler on the defensive line.
The Falcons have some young lineman that could compete for a starting spot. Tyeler Davison has a chance to start at defensive tackle. Atlanta added Marlon Davidson in the second round of the draft and he could be viewed as an impact player right away. Allen Bailey and Takkarist McKinley will man the defensive end positions. To sum up their production in 2019, the duo of Bailey and McKinley played 30 games and finished with 4.5 sacks. When looking at the line, it is underwhelming.
With an offense like the one in Atlanta, they need to build a strong defense to compliment. This is something they have not had under Quinn, who is supposed to be a defensive coach. There are some remaining pass rushers on the market and the Falcons could use a veteran player to add depth and leadership. It is unknown whether they will add one after the Fowler signing, but it is definitely a huge need entering the season.