Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback and current radio analyst Dave Archer has high hopes for a Dean Pees coached defense.
The good news for the Falcons is that the defense really has nowhere to go but up. Outmanned and out-schemed, Atlanta finished 29th in total defense and dead last in pass defense in 2020.
Archer sounded excited as he reported from the first day of training camp.
“My mind went to the defensive side of the football, and optimism for me is on that side of the ball right off the start,” said Archer. “Dean Pees, the defensive coordinator here is a guy that’s had tremendous success in this league.”
“You think about what he’s done in three different places. In New England, Baltimore, Tennessee, 12 years the defensive coordinator, nine of those years his defenses held teams to 20 points or less.”
“How does that equate to what we saw in 2020? Well think about this games this team lost. They lost eight of 10 games that were one score games a year ago.”
“Dean Pees’ defense keeping teams off the scoreboard. That sounds like a recipe for success. If you flip that to a 5-5 record in games one score or less, now all of a sudden you’re a playoff football team.”
“Yes optimism reigns supreme, and I think some of it has to do with the Falcons’ defensive coordinator.”
The Falcons got off to a 1-6 start in 2020. Five of those six losses were by a score or less, but the losses went beyond that. Blown games to the Cowboys, Bears, and Lions were almost statistically impossible.
Marginally better offense and defense in 2021 and the Falcons 4-12 record could be turned around to keep them in the playoff hunt throughout the course of the season.