Dec 22, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) reacts after they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
While the Atlanta Falcons have recently always managed to field some of the best offenses in the league, the defense is an entirely different story.
Atlanta’s defenses have consistently faltered over the past couple of decades. They have never been able to field a dominant defense or find the key players to do so – especially at pass rusher.
While they might not have had a competitive defense for a while, they still own the best defense of all time. The 1977 Atlanta Falcons squad owns the record for the fewest points allowed in a season and they were able to do that with one of the worst offenses in history. A lot of what makes a good defense is having an offense that does not put you in a bind, but that is what the offense did to the “Grits Blitz” defense.
The Falcons wish they had a defense that was even in the same stratosphere as that one.
Here is an all-time Atlanta Falcons starting defensive lineup.
Atlanta Falcon’s all-time defense starting with the defensive line.
- LE: John Abraham
- DT: Jonathan Babineaux
- DT: Grady Jarrett
- RE: Claude Humprey
The Falcons have not exactly been known for their pass rushers during their history, but they have had a couple special ones.
John Abraham was an absolute monster for Atlanta. He is really the last true game-changer the team has had at defensive end. He had numerous ten-plus sack seasons, including a monstrous 16.5 sacks during the 2008 season. What we would give now to have a guy of his caliber.
Jonathan Babineaux may not have eye-popping career stats but he was a staple on the Falcons line for so many years and was always a force to be reckoned with for opposing linemen. He played in 185 games for the Falcons and always made an impact that stats will not show.
Everyone knows Grady Jarrett and how incredible he is. He is one of the players that there are zero arguments to leave off of this list. The former fifth-round pick has overcome a lot to become the unquestioned leader of an underachieving defense. Without his stellar play, the Falcons would be in even bigger trouble.
The real all-time Atlanta Falcon’s sack leader, Claude Humprey. With the updated unofficial stats, Humprey is now number one in Falcons record books with 99.5 sacks to his name – by far the most in team history. He was a special player and one of the only dominant rushers the Falcons have had.