2016 Draft Kit

Despite additions, Falcons defense has long way to go

Atlanta Falcons

2014 Record: 6-10, missed playoffs, 2-3 in last five

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Four downs

1st: 10th in DVOA* overall offense (8th pass, 22nd rush) | 32nd in DVOA* overall defense (31st pass, 30th run)

2nd: Eighth-most effective in the NFL against WR1s (9.1 pass attempts per game, 78 receiving yards per game), but fifth-worst against WR2s (6.1 pass attempts, 68.5 yards), sixth-worst against slot/bench receivers (6.2 pass attempts, 51.1 yards), third-worst against pass-catching running backs (7.1 pass attempts, 49 yards), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.

3rd: Key loss: Steven Jackson | Key addition: RB Tevin Coleman

4th: The Falcons record was worse than I remember, but when you have the least effective defense in the NFL, that sort of thing happens. The addition of Brooks Reed and Justin Durant will only be a marginal help. The Falcons also added a handful of rookies — including pass-rusher Vic Beasley — who should help considerably. But rebuilding a defense from the bottom doesn’t happen overnight, even if you bring in a Super Bowl Champion defensive coordinator to be your new head coach. RB Tevin Coleman was brought in as RB Steven Jackson departs. Coleman will compete with Devonta Freeman for starting RB duties. The lone bright spot was the Falcons passing offense. Matt Ryan amassed 4,694 yards and 28 TDs even though superstar WR Julio Jones missed a game and only scored six TDs. Not that Jones was terrible. He still finished as the seventh-best WR in PPR. Age seems to be catching up to Roddy White, but he still made 80 receptions for 921 yards and 7 TDs and finished as the No. 21 WR in PPR.

*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.

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