The Falcons offense in the first two games of the season have looked nothing short of outstanding, particularly in the passing portion of the game. But it seems, through history at least, that most east coast teams take a massive hit when they have to take the long jet lag journey across the motherland to play on the west coast. Is it the long flight? Is it the time change? Or is it simply the lack of fluff in the plane pillows that makes everyone’s neck nerves throb? Whatever it may be, Atlanta’s high flying attack ships its way out to sunny San Diego this week to face off against Phillip Rivers’ Chargers and their own 2-0 start.
If we look at NFL history only through the eyes of the Falcons since quarterback Matty Ice and head coach Mike Smith arrived in 2008, the sight of the west coast is a rather pleasant one. Since 2008, Atlanta is 5-0 when playing against the west coast opponents; A rather stellar record if I may say so myself. I guess those beautiful beaches and bonny blondes aren’t so bad after all.
This could be a great test for the Falcons for a number of reasons. First off, the Chargers are solid. Yes I believe Atlanta should show up and take care of business, but the steady, huddle up offense that San Diego delivers will be drastically different than the Broncos no huddle frenzy attack. Secondly, the way the 49ers have started off the year, it looks as though the NFC will have to be conquered through San Fransico. It will be good to take a west coast trip now so if/when the playoffs arrive, the players will know what to expect and how to handle it.
The game is at 4:05 eastern time, so really it will feel like an early game for the players instead of an afternoon game with the time change. The interesting thing to keep an eye on is with the short week (since the Falcons played on Monday night), how well did the team prepare and how focused will they be stepping into the home of another 2-0 team far away from the Georgia Dome.
Will the Falcons step into their own “west coast” offense on Sunday, letting Julio, Roddy, Tony G. and Harry D. go wild? Will the defense provide the turnovers early enough to rattle Rivers for the rest of the game? Or will the Falcons be struck down from their nest atop the NFC South by a boisterous bolt? Stay tuned Sunday afternoon, and tweet us your thoughts @bloggingdirty or @ianborders7.