The defensive statistics weren’t as gaudy for the Atlanta Falcons in the second week of the season. But the Falcons defense still looks as good as it has in years.
That’s in large part to the offseason additions the team made on that side of the ball.
In a “What We Learned” in Week 2 article from NFL.com, the Around the NFL staff specifically mentioned three defensive free agents the Falcons signed during the offseason.
“Kaden Elliss flew in for a massive sack. Calais Campbell ate up blockers against the run. Bud Dupree had a big pressure late to get Jordan Love off his spot and force an incompletion,” the Around the NFL staff wrote. “A.J. Terrell continues to show he’s one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, making a huge pass breakup in the end zone early and he nearly had an INT late.
“There still are issues to clean up, and Atlanta didn’t have the big turnovers like last week, but keeping any offense under 225 yards and 18 first downs is a good sign.”
The big improvement for the Falcons defense during Week 2 was against the run. After allowing the Carolina Panthers to accumulate 154 rushing yards in the season opener, the Falcons held the Green Bay Packers to 84 yards on the ground on Sunday.
The Packers were missing Pro Bowler Aaron Jones, but A.J. Dillion is one of the top No. 2 backs in the NFL. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry versus the Falcons.
Atlanta’s secondary played very well too. Quarterback Jordan Love threw for only 151 yards and 6 yards per attempt. In Week 1 versus the Chicago Bears, Love tossed for 245 yards and 9.1 yards per pass.
Through two weeks, the Falcons are third in yards allowed per game and fourth in passing yards yielded per contest. Although they have just 3 sacks, Atlanta is also third in net yards allowed per pass attempt.
The 2023 season is only two weeks old. The Falcons began the campaign against two inexperienced quarterbacks at home. The schedule is about to get much tougher.
But undoubtably, the Falcons defense is off to a terrific start. Indeed, the first two games of this season could be a sign of more great things to come for Atlanta’s defense.