Well, it’s no secret: the Atlanta Falcons have lost their way a bit here in 2019.
Despite an early home win against the Philadelphia Eagles, the former NFC champions from 2016 stumbled into a chasm of darkness defensively after losing the anchor of their secondary, safety Keanu Neal. Since then, Atlanta has struggled with multiple communication issues and a marked lack of effort on tape.
However, this is a “what have you done for me lately” league. And lately, the Falcons have been playing some of the best defense in the league.
Though they lost to Seattle several weeks ago, they held the potent Seahawks to three points in the second half and followed up that performance last week by holding Drew Brees and the Saints out of the end zone en route to a stunning 26-9 road win.
So what’s been the difference of late? Mainly, effort. Better communication. Nothing has really changed schematically: Dan Quinn likes to run Cover 3, and will man up at times in the red zone. They are aggressive with their fronts, and will move pieces around pre-snap. Though they have had a hard time finding a role for former first-round EDGE Vic Beasley, the Clemson product did manage 1.5 sacks against the Saints last week.
So the question is: what can Carolina to do to reverse this trend? Are there certain matchups the Panthers can exploit? We certainly believe there are, but it won’t come easy. Without further ado, let’s dive into the One Panther Place Film Room: