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Atlanta Falcons Defensive Report Card


Defensive Report Card

This defensive report card will feature each defensive position group featuring starters and depth of the Atlanta Falcons roster and giving them a grade. These grades should give insight for what the team needs to upgrade over the off-season.

Offensive Report Card

In case you missed the Falcons offensive report card, click here and you can check it out!

Defensive Line

The Falcons ran a “multiple” defensive scheme the past couple of seasons under defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Grady Jarrett once again was the anchor for the Falcons defensive line. Jarrett finished with 61 total tackles and led the team in sacks with six. However, there has been no presence on the line to get to the quarterback. The team only finished with 21 sacks on the season– which ranked 31st in the league. The line is still young outside of Jarrett with Abdullah Anderson and Ta’Quon Graham, but there needs to be more impact coming from this position.

Grade: D


This group was the Falcons best and deepest position group on the defensive side of the ball. Production came from both inside and outside linebackers. Veteran Rashaan Evans led the team in tackles with 159 total tackles (86 solo). Mykal Walker was 3rd on the team in tackles with 107 total tackles (46 solo), two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a sack. Finally, rookie linebackers Troy Andersen and Arnold Ebiketie contributed to the production for the linebacker corps on the season. The pieces are in place for this group, if the young guys can continue to improve this group can be even better.

Grade: B-


Coming into the 2022 season this group seemed like it would be the best on the defense. However, it was more inconsistent than most would have liked. The injury bug hit this position group hard as well. A.J. Terrell had a decent year with 36 solo tackles and nine passes defended, but his numbers did have a slight drop and missed three games due to injury. Casey Hayward only played in six games before being placed on IR in October. Nickel CB Isaiah Oliver missed the first five games before he played this past season. Just like the other position groups on the team it is filled with young players and only managed to get three interceptions on the season. Terrell will look to have a year similar to 2021 and the rest of the corners would love to follow suit.

Grade: C-


The safeties were better half of the back end in the secondary this season. Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins both only missed one game combined for the season. Grant was second on the team in tackles with 123, a forced fumble, and two interceptions. Hawkins also notched two interceptions with a forced fumble, and 84 total tackles on the season. The safeties were all over the field this year being the highlight of the Falcons secondary.

Grade: B-

Overall Defensive Report Card Grade

The Atlanta Falcons defensive report card grade overall is a C-

Special Teams

The Falcons special teams unit was led by kicker Younghoe Koo, punter Bradley Pinion, and long snapper Liam McCullough. Avery Williams and Cordarrelle Patterson both contributed in the return game as well. Koo’s field goal percentage was 86.5% with his longest made field goal of 54 yards. Pinion netted 45.9 yards a punt and had 23 punts inside the 20-yard line. Williams had a league best 16.2 yard punt return average. Patterson broke the NFL record for the most career kickoff return touchdowns with nine.

Grade: B

Coaching Staff

Head Coach Arthur Smith finishes with another 7-10 season in his second year as the head man in charge. Top assistants include Offensive Coordinator Dave Ragone, new Defensive Coordinator Ryan Nielsen comes in from New Orleans, and Special Teams coach Marquice Williams.

Grade: C



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