Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters had a breakout year this season, even as most of the players on the Falcons defense struggled in a disappointing 2013 campaign for this squad. Peters’s previous highs in tackles and sacks were 26 and three in the 2011 season, and he bested those numbers with 46 tackles and five sacks this year. In the fourth season of his career, the 25-year-old Kentucky product has shown the Falcons that they have a very solid DT in Peters to use as a building block on the defensive line, and he has finally given Jonathan Babineaux a legitimate DT next to him. This pairing will greatly help the Falcons defense going forward, especially if they are able to add an impact pass rusher at defensive end.
Although Peters needs to do a better job of putting consistent pressure on the quarterback, five sacks is a solid total and will be something that he can build on next year. But what the Falcons can really hang their hats on with Peters is his ability to stop the run, and he is among the most active defensive tackles in the game against the run, as evidenced by his career-high 46 tackles this season.
Peters’s breakout 2013 season will be cut one game short, though the bright side of that is the fact that things would have been a lot worse had he torn his Achilles’ earlier this year (the Falcons have suffered enough grief on the injury front anyway). ESPN NFL Nation’s Vaughn McClure reports that Falcons head coach Mike Smith stated that Peters will undergo surgery on his Achilles’ tendon soon.
We can only hope that Peters only partially tore his Achilles’ and that he recovers fully from the injury, because it’s a serious issue. The timing of the injury is also terrible, because Peters is set to become a free agent. He did an incredible job this season and put himself in a position to get paid a significant amount of money, so we can only hope that this injury doesn’t hurt him too much financially. My guess is that the Falcons will most likely re-sign him, and he’s one of the more intriguing free agent options at the position.