The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every team and the 2017 NFL Draft is over. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with each of the 2016 last-place teams and now it’s time to focus on the eight division champions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. It’s time for the Atlanta Falcons to be in the spotlight.
DT Dontari Poe
It must still sting. The Atlanta Falcons owned a 28-3 third-quarter lead over the mighty New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. And they were making it look easy against Bill Belichick’s squad. But call it a comeback or call it a collapse, depending on your point of view. The Pats would rally for 31 unanswered points in a stunning 34-28 overtime triumph and hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Yes, there is the criticism surrounding the play-calling in the second half. But the bottom line is that the Falcons allowed 546 total yards on 93 offensive plays in the six-point loss. There was a reason that Dan Quinn’s team ranked 25th in the NFL in total defense and only four clubs in the league allowed more yardage through the air. There’s logic behind having the NFL sack leader in outside linebacker Vic Beasley, who totaled nearly half (15.5) of the club’s 34 QB traps, and trading up in the first round to grab UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley.
Hence, there is a reason that the franchise added former Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe (Kansas City Chiefs) to the defensive front. He can line up in a variety of formations and the Falcons are hoping he can help out a unit that also finished a disappointing 17th in the league against the run.
The Atlanta Falcons are looking to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl one year after losing it. Of course, just winning the NFC South is no guarantee. But Quinn’s team has to be more consistent, especially when it comes to its defensive line play, and Poe is a nice upgrade.