After last week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs the Falcons came away with a resounding 40-24 win. After a first half that saw neither teams’ defense able to come up with a meaningful stop the Falcons’ defense stepped up in the second half and gave their offense the opportunity to pull away.
The Falcons’ rushing attack was stuffed for the most part, only picking up 84 yards on the day. Was this lack of production the sign of a new offensive scheme in Atlanta, a weak ground game, or merely that the coaches realized that this game would be won through Matt Ryan’s arm rather than Michael Turner’s legs? The passing game flourished with Matt Ryan finishing with 292 yards for the day. The Denver Broncos’ defense held the Steelers’ run game to only 75 yards and 209 yards passing in their game. The low amount of yardage given up by the Broncos on the ground worries me. Will the Falcons be able to run the ball effectively against this defense that did so well against Pittsburgh’s running game? I expect Matt Ryan to continue to find success in the air so long as the offensive line can protect him from the Broncos’ pass rush. I do not believe that the Broncos’ defense can contain Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez for the entire game.
Peyton Manning did well against the Steelers’ pass defense gathering 240 yards through the air. Their running game picked up 94 yards on the ground as well. The Falcons gave up 241 passing yards and 152 rushing yards to the Chiefs. The Falcons’ defense will have a tough time handling Peyton Manning and this Denver Broncos’ offense, but if the defense can carry over the successes that they had in the second half of the Kansas City game they should be able to come up with a few crucial stops. The Falcons’ defense will have to do this without Brent Grimes who was injured in the Kansas City game. I think that Asante Samuel and the rest of the Atlanta secondary will be able to plug the gaps and hold up to the Broncos’ offense though.
If this game were being played in Denver I would have to go with the Broncos, but I’m going with the Falcons to win at home 28-24.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons