Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters Is a Bright Spot on a Subpar Defense

Scott CarasikContributor IIOctober 16, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 07: Defensive tackle Corey Peters #91 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks quarterback Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets during their game at the Georgia Dome on October 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons defense looks worse than it has in years. However, defensive tackle Corey Peters is quietly having an excellent 2013-14 campaign. 

After blowing up multiple screen passes and showing that he's got some pass-rushing abilities early this season, Peters is still an under-appreciated part of the defense whose impact is felt even without the stats that guys like Ndamukong Suh or J.J. Watt put up.

As part of his role, Peters is a guy who will make his impact felt by the double-teams he draws as well as the penetration in the run and passing games.

This isn't seen on stat sheets. It's also not seen on most advanced stat sheets.  

It's part of the reason why people don't understand that the Falcons defense is actually better with Peters in it. They don't see how he contributes by playing multiple spots in multiple fronts. They don't see how he allows Mike Nolan to run the scheme the right way.

Well, it's time to give credit where it's due.


It's Not Always Seen On a Stat Sheet

Sure, Peters has two sacks on the season already, but his impact is seen in places beyond the stat sheets.

Some will think he's not doing his job on a play if all he does is take on a double-team and get minimal push. However, that's his responsibility as a defensive tackle. He's supposed to get down and dirty and do the job no one else wants on the inside.

He's supposed to take on the double-teams and allow the players around him to get the glory.

Peters does that on every single play. He does it with a smile on his face and has no issues being the guy who takes punishment on the interior. Moreover, he still manages to break off his double-teams to make tackles, as seen by his 20 on the season.

Peters has been a vital part of the Falcons' run defense that has improved from 29th in the NFL in 2012 (allowing 4.8 yards a carry) to 21st in the NFL (4.2 yards per carry) this season.

Now, the players around him need to step up so that the defense won't continue to waste his double-teams.


Offers the Defense Multiplicity

The biggest thing that Peters brings to the defense is added versatility.

He can play the 1-, 3- or 5-technique, and he can provide a lineman for the multiple nickel looks, base sets and goal-line packages.

For those that haven't studied the 1-, 3- or 5-technique, the 1-technique plays the A-gap between the guard and center whereas the 3-technique plays the B-gap between the guard and tackle. Meanwhile, the 5-technique will attempt to cover the B-gap between the guard and tackle as well as the C-gap between the tackle and tight endor off-tackle if there isn't a tight end on that side of the field.

Peters has been playing all over the defensive line and creating pressure throughout. While he hasn't racked up the pressures and sacks, he's been taking on double-teams on almost every single play and creating more opportunities for his fellow defensive linemen.

By lining up in different spots, he helps create different lanes for the blitzes to come and helps confuse opposing offenses. On top of that, he can penetrate any gap and force a double-team.

By featuring such a versatile player, the Falcons are able to run more fronts and be a more varied defense.

Without Peters, the Falcons defense wouldn't be anywhere close to what it is. Despite being a bad unit, it'd be that much worse without his impact in the middle.


Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs