As the Falcons go into week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, there are a couple things that need to happen this week, storylines that need attention, and various other previews that need to be covered. Here are a few.
The Offensive Line VS. Colts front Four
This is a very interesting game within the game, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out on Sunday. Obviously out offensive line performed admirably against Detroit’s very strong defensive line. Svitek played very well in place of Sam Baker, and will start again against the Colts. This is rehashing what Jamie wrote earlier about whether Baker’s absence will help or hurt the Falcons, and if Svitek can hold up against speed rushers. If he can, Ryan will have a clean pocket, and throw for a lot of yards and probably a couple touchdowns. Same thing goes, with Tyson Clabo, he needs to play up to his potential against Robert Mathis. This leads us to….
Matt Ryan VS. Colts Secondary
This is a matchup that Matt can most certainly win. Our receivers can easily separate from the starters and I don’t think there are many people who doubt that. The reason the Colts defense has been so good is Peyton Manning has kept the offense on the field as long as possible with scores, forcing the opposing team to throw the ball, and make mistakes. Without Peyton Manning, teams like the Falcons can use their running game since they aren’t down, or aren’t down far enough that they cause mistakes. Using the running game to wear down the defense, and then calling a deep play-action pass to Roddy or Julio seems to be in order. In fact, I wouldn’t be horribly surprised to see two receivers with 100+yard games. The only way this would fail is if Freeney and Mathis get pressure. But use of the running game will keep the pass rushers on their heels.
John Abraham & Ray Edwards VS. Anthony Castonzo & Jeff Linkenbach
This is an opportunity for a couple of premier pass rushers. Edwards has gotten hot the last couple weeks, and this is another opportunity for him to pad his stats. For John Abraham, he had a sack last week against Detroit, but hadn’t had one since week One. The defense will do a good job stuffing the running game, so it will be up to our Defensive Ends to tee off on Indianapolis’ offensive tackles and give Curtis Painter little to no time to throw the ball.
Falcons Secondary Vs. Garcon & Wayne
The man distributing the ball from under center for the Colts isn’t particularly good. Well, let’s just say he isn’t Peyton Manning. But if history tells us anything, Painter CAN and WILL throw the football, and there are two very good receiving weapons on the offense. I watched the Colts play the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football and took two things from watching that game. 1. The Colts do not surrender. No matter how far the game gets out of hand, they just don’t quit. 2. Pierre Garcon is a weapon, and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Reggie Wayne is more of a possession receiver than he was early in his career, but he is still dangerous if not enough attention is paid to him. It will be interesting to see how the Falcons defense aligns itself to defend against the homerun threat.
Have any other matchups you think are important for the Falcons vs. Colts? Tell us about them here.