Falcons DC Dean Pees says red zone is a point of emphasis

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Prior to the 2021 season, the most points the Atlanta Falcons had ever given up after the first two games was 78. However, through the first two weeks, the team has already allowed 80 total points. This hasn’t entirely been the fault of the defense as the Falcons’ offense had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in Week 2, but the unit needs to be better as a whole.

According to defensive coordinator Dean Pees, Atlanta has work to do in the “red area.” Here’s a look some of Pees’ other red zone defenses and where they ranked.

Year

Red Zone TD %

Red Zone APG

PPG Allowed

2015 (BAL)

53.19 % (11th)

2.9 (14th)

25.1 (24th)

2016 (BAL)

55.32 % (16th)

2.9 (7th)

20.1 (9th)

2017 (BAL)

48.89 % (9th)

2.8 (9th)

18.9 (5th)

2018 (TENN)

44.68 % (2nd)

2.9 (8th)

18.9 (3rd)

2019 (TENN)

63.16 % (28th)

3.0 (10th)

20.6 (11th)

2021 (ATL)*

87.50 % (27th)*

4.0 (24th)*

40.0 (32nd)*

When looking at the previous five seasons Pees spent in the NFL prior to joining the Falcons, we can see he has a track record of producing in the red zone. One of the best ways to be better in the red zone is to limit how many times the opposing offense gets there in the first place.

“It’s always been a very prideful thing with me that we’ve been good in the red area and never given up a lot of points; and we’re just giving up too many points down there in the red area,” said Pees. “We’re not getting them stopped. I know sometimes they move down there, but I don’t care where they get the ball, it’s our job as a defense to stop them.”

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