We are now midway through the 2012-13 season, and at 7-0, the Falcons are midway through their pursuit of home-field advantage throughout the playoffs along with a first week bye. After seeing Matt Ryan and Co. carve through the Eagles, I am now convinced that the Falcons are focused on playing their best football for the rest of the season. Now, the tough half of the season begins, and the next couple of weeks will test the mettle and might of the Falcons. Their next test will come in the form of a tough Cowboys defense and a ice-cold Tony Romo looking to redeem himself after a terrible 4-interception performance against the Giants…
The last time we played the Cowboys was in 2009. The Falcons defense was torched by Tony Romo and Miles Austin, while the Falcons offense struggled to get going. Miles had 6 catches for whopping 171 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Romo ended the game with 311 yards passing and 3 scores. Cowboys offense line play was solid against Falcons, as Romo was only sacked twice. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, struggled to get going through the air, throwing for a mediocre 198 yards for two scores, two interceptions and a loss fumble. He was sacked a total of four times, with two of those sacks along with the forced fumble coming from Demarcus Ware.
Now, the Cowboys and a regressing Tony Romo visit the Dome to face a hot Matt Ryan and a 7-0 Falcons squad that can make big plays on both sides of the ball…
Nine weeks into the 2012-13 season, Tony Romo has only thrown for 5 TD’s while doubling that number in interceptions with 10. Some analysts are saying his play has taken a step back this season. Still, I think Romo and the coaching staff will put their best foot forward in hope of saving the Cowboys season, but I don’t think it will happen against our 10th rank pass defense and a improving run defense that has Corey Peters back in the starting line up. They may also be without Demarco Murray, and without the run game to take pressure off of Romo and the offensive line, he will continue to struggle. The Cowboys still have Felix Jones and his blazing speed, but while he is a good backup, he has struggled to replace Murray as a starter, plus, he’s fumble prone, so Jason Garrett may try to limit his touches and get one of the other backs (Tanner or Dunbar) going in the run game.
While the Cowboys have struggled on offense, the defense continues to play top-5 football. Rob Ryan and the Ware-lead defense is ranked 4th in the league, only allowing 292 yards a game. With Demarcus Ware leading the pass rush, the Cowboys will try to force Matt Ryan into a few mistakes to keep the Falcons from establishing any momentum. With that being said, this isn’t the second-coming of the 2001 Ravens. They are a liability in run support, allowing 104.7 rushing yards a game. They’re also without leading tackler and emotional leader Sean Lee.
The Falcons had success at getting the run and the screen game going against the Eagles, which is good, because they could use a similar game plan against the Cowboys to keep their pass rush at bay. The run game must be a factor for the rest of the season, as the Falcons need to work on balancing their offense to protect Matt Ryan and keep our pass protection from being exploited by some of the talented pass rushing teams we play in the second-half of the season. If the Eagles game was any indication of what to expect from the Falcons from the rest of the season, we are on the right track.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons