Sep 11, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (29) lines up against the Buffalo Bills in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Buffalo won the game 41-7. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Atlanta Falcons Week 1 Preview: Kansas City Chiefs


As I promised last week, I said that I would come up with a week by week preview of each and every game of the Falcons 2012 season. I’m going to go into matchup problems the Falcons will be able to create, and which the Falcons may be susceptible to. We will start with the Week 1 matchup against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

The first thing to look at is the fact that Arrowhead is one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, with a lot of passionate fans filling an absolutely colossal stadium. The Falcons have said that they are trying to allow Matt Ryan to run a lot more no-huddle offense, and their communications outside the huddle will be tested right off the bat with the loud and raucous fans in KC. The weather will likely be good, but the setting will no doubt be a huge challenge.

The Falcons offense will probably not have a tremendously difficult time moving the ball against the Chiefs defense. The Chiefs drafted big Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe to give them a push up front and play the run well, but it will be the first game of his rookie season; I doubt he will be much of a factor. As a result, the Falcons will be able to run the ball effectively, and then use the play-action pass to hit our receivers. As a writer from Rant Sports notes, our wide receivers represent a huge matchup problem for their defensive backs. I’m not saying that they will dominate their cornerbacks, but I think they will win their matchups. The writer also said that Tamba Hali, their All-Pro pass rushing outside linebacker, will be able to get a lot of pressure on Ryan and prevent him from being effective. I think the offense will be able to keep Hali on his heels and looking for the run just enough to keep him off of Ryan, and allow us to connect on some deep passes to Julio Jones and Roddy White in the intermediate and deep passing game. Our offensive line may not be world-beaters, but I believe they are better than KC’s defensive line. That being said, the Chiefs do have FS Eric Berry patrolling the deep middle of the field, and he is a dangerous ball-hawking safety. If Ryan can keep the ball away form Berry, the Falcons should have no problem scoring points.

The Chiefs have their own ways of creating matchups offensively. Dwayne Bowe is a near clone of Roddy White, and could easily pick on our corners. I feel that Asante Samuel would be able to keep him in front just long enough to prevent him beating us for a big play, but Bowe will still get his catches. The other receivers are Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin, one who is a reliable slot receiver, and the other who is a second year player with a lot of potential who has a bit of a focusing problem. If QB Matt Cassel has time to deliver the ball, these receivers can make things happen. That being said, Cassel is the type of QB that the Falcons can eat alive, especially with a player like Samuel who can bait him into bad throws that become turnovers. The Chiefs are in much the same position on their offensive line as the Falcons are; they are trying to put together a line that is much better than it was last year. With a lot of inexperienced players and free-agent signings, I would imagine their line would experience some hiccups, especially in the first week of the season. The Falcons will have the opportunity to abuse a line that hasn’t yet gelled, and that will hopefully build confidence for the defense.

I think this game will almost certainly be a victory for the Atlanta Falcons, but I am not naive enough to think that they will blow the Chiefs out. They have a lot of good weapons on offense, and they have two or three very solid players on defense. Given the fact that it will be a road game for the Falcons, I can’t expect that things would be easy, and Atlanta’s offense could experience a couple hiccups of its own. I think the score could be something like 17-13 or 20-17, just because of the venue. I have no way of knowing what the final score will be, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all with a low scoring affair going the Falcons’ way.

Tags: Asante Samuel Atlanta Falcons Featured Julio Jones Matt Ryan Popular Roddy White

  • JoshuaGilliland

    Dude you are a delusional blowhard. Why is it going to be a easy victory, but not a blowout? Who says we are going to be clicking on all cylinders in the first game? They won’t be, but we will? That is a completely baseless stance to take before training camp ever starts. You’re nothing but a sunshine pumper.

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  • bdcinsa

    I hope the Falcons see this game with the same delusions as you. About the time you get to Dwayne Bowe the little bit of credibility you may have been given by the benefit of the doubt was thrown out the window. Also, to think that the Chiefs secondary is able to be abused by Matt Ryan is a joke. Berry is not the only guy back there so you know, there is also a guy by the name of Brandon Flowers who plays at a VERY high level and rather than ruin the fun I’ll let you do the research seeing as how you think you can write a game preview without previewing the opponent. How about the rest of the LBs other than Hali, he is no longer the only threat there. Even with two absurdly lopsided blow outs early in the season for the Chiefs, that D still ranked at 11 (maybe twelve going off the top of my head but more than willing to admit it, feel free to look it up and prove me wrong) and that was without Berry as he went down in week 1. Arron Rodgers may have a different opinion of the Chiefs secondary then you and if you think the Falcons weapons match up with GB and the QB play is on the same level you are wrong and simply should leave the writing up to others.
     
    I do not think this game is a joke for either team but I will tell you that either team should in no way take the view you just spat out. I will give you the remarks on Cassel and he is probably the weakest link on the Chiefs team right now but they are more of a ball control team that will pound the ball on the ground and once enough attention is paid to the run, which will happen or else Charles will start breaking out in a big way, Cassel is more than capable of hitting the playaction to any one for 4 worthy targets in Bowe (who you so ignorantly under-rated), Baldwin, Breaston or Moeaki at TE. That is a match up night mare. Can it be done? sure. Are the Chiefs going to be pumping on all cylinders week 1? No more then Atlanta but I promise looking past this game would be a mistake. We will see and I hope it is a great game either way.

  • awaller1990

    Completely disregarding Jamaal Charles, who nearly set the NFL record for YPC in his last full year of rushing? Shame, shame, shame…

  • JazzyMegalodon

    foolish, unresearched, garble is what I just read.

  • wh00578

    Opinions are what I hear, and you’re free to have yours. Of course I’m going to pick my team in a Week 1 matchup with a team that was 5-11 in 2011. If you read the last paragraph, I clearly say that I could see the low scoring affair going the Falcons’ way. That also means that I could certainly see it going the way of the Chiefs.

  • bdcinsa

     @wh00578 5-11?? What team was that?

  • wh00578

     @bdcinsa Excuse me, 7-9. 

  • bdcinsa

     @wh00578 BTW if your going to do a game preview you should actually preview the game. I understand what you are saying by this is your opinion and you will take your team but the flack you are getting is from the title of your post and the blatant lack of any research what so ever. If your are going to do a preview try starting with match ups and actually research the opponent as well. Or just title these as “My opinion of what could happen in this game based on no research what so ever”

  • wh00578

    @bdcinsa @wh00578 That’s all well and good, sit. I understand my article isnt written how you woyld like it to be. If youd like, I can read a post you feel is appropriate.

  • Snarlz

    I agree that the Falcons will win, that it will be low scoring, and that the number one thing the cheifs have going for them is their venue in this game. However, I don’t think you should be so certain. In my opinion this is the closest match up of week one, and Vegas agrees (ATL v KC is the Pick ‘Em game of week one). I think this is one of the most if not THE most pivotal non-divisional game of the season, and I have the falcons winning 21-16.

  • MicahStephenson

    LMAO @ the ignorance of this petty fool! Lol! I believe without Berry(or lewis 3 games) chiefs still fielded a top ten pass defense! Flowers, Routt and Lewis might hav some n to say about the non respect shown! Houston was a rook who will b waaaay better this yr. D.Poe is bigger, faster, stronger than K.Gregg. Yea he a rookie but at NT yo playbook can be simplified to if the RB gets it, tackle him, if the QB keeps it than tackle him. Hali aint worried bout yo run game wenchiefs hav the 1st & 3rd best run stoppers n the NFL, Dorsey and Jackson and now Poe, Wit berry back. Thumper MLb in Belcher. Probowler Dj. Our o line is waaaay better wit Hudson and Winston even ungelled. Bowe will make A.Samual look so bad that he retires soon as he gets to the locker room. Cassel giving time will carve the falcons sencodary up! Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, Charles, Hillis, Mcluster, Moeaki, Boss, Wylie, Gray is a match up nightmare for the whole NFL this yr! And Duboll likes a high powered attacking offense! ARROWHEAD 1st game, ATL dont hav a chance!!! Chiefs win this 31-17. I hope all the team underestimate us.

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  • JoshuaGilliland

     @MicahStephenson I really hope it took you a long time to write that and it’s not really the way you speak or type.