Falcons Over/Under: Can Atlanta’s Defense Rack Up More Sacks in 2020?

Grady Jarrett

Getty Grady Jarrett #97 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots.

Over the course of Dan Quinn era, the defense’s sack record has been inconsistent. However, since 2015 the Falcons have averaged a very low 31.5 sacks per year.

Betting guru for The Falcoholic, Everrett Glaze believes the Falcons can perform a little better this season, but nothing extraordinary. Glaze has set the baseline at 34 sacks for 2020.

With only 28 sacks last season, the Atlanta Falcons ranked near the very bottom in the NFL, second to last.

Thankfully, this year is expected to be a little different with Raheem Morris in charge at defensive coordinator. Glaze is being tough on them.

Falcons Drastic Turnaround in 2019

Falcons were off to a rough start and went 1-7 by the midway point of the season. The the drastice turnaround happened. They finished strong with a second half season record of 6-2. This was mainly due to the fact that head coach Dan Quinn handed the reigns over to Raheem Morris to let him call the shots on the defensive side of the ball.

  • Third-down conversion percentage: No. 32 (53%)
  • Points allowed per game: No. 31 (29.6)
  • Total QB rating: No. 31 (117.3)
  • Red zone touchdown percentage: No. 32 (66%)
  • Total takeaways: No. 32 (2)

Here are where the Falcons ranked in the second half of the season:

  • Third-down conversion percentage: No. 1 (38%)
  • Points allowed per game: No. 5 (16.9)
  • Total QB rating: No. 5 (78.7)
  • Red zone touchdown percentage: No. 5 (38%)
  • Total takeaways: No. 7 (13)

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Raheem Will Focus on the Defensive Line

While there is a lot of the attention on Terrell joining the defense, Morris will have more of a focus on the defensive line.

“I believe it starts up front. It always has. I don’t think you can go anywhere really on defense without it not starting up there,” Morris told D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this month.

The Falcons made it a priority to stack up their defensive line by signing on defensive end Dante Fowler in early free agency and drafting defensive tackle Marlon Davidson as their second pick.

“I’m really excited about the additions to the team,” Morris said. “When you are talking about bringing in Fowler to go with Grady (Jarrett), to go with (Steven) Means coming back off of injury. We are talking about Allen Bailey coming back. Re-signing Tyeler Davison, you are talking about getting a healthy Takk (McKinley) back and getting those guys to go out there and play together.”

Fowler Plans on Being a Sack Machine

Fowler is coming off of his best season with the Rams. He recorded a career-best of 11.5 sacks last season. He plans to do more for Atlanta.

“I feel like you either get better or you get worse. It’s really cool to just show you guys that I’m a consistent guy, that I can come out here and get double-digit sacks a year, Fowler said via AtlantaFalcons.com And go out there and play a huge role on my defense and on the team as far as being a spark—being a spark, setting a tone, playing off of each other. Making opportunities for not only myself but for my team. This was always my dream, to always be put in this position.”

The quarterbacks he is looking forward to sacking the most are Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, “just because he’s Tom Brady,” Fowler said.

With Fowler on the line and Marlon Davidson who is considered to be Grady Jarrett’s clone, the Falcons are on their way to getting a hell of a lot more sacks than 34 in 2020.

READ NEXT: Grady Jarrett Considered ‘More Irreplaceable’ Than Julio Jones for Falcons?

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