After getting stomped on by the Houston Texans, our beloved Falcons must show that they are worthy of being a playoff team in 2014.
No, I’m not talking about Matt Ryan or Desmond Trufant, because we already know what these type of players are capable of! But there are other crucial players and match-ups to keep an eye on.
Jake Matthews Position Switch
Being a rookie tackle is hard. To simply switch from a tackle with Johnny Football as your quarterback in college to Matt Ryan, who cannot scramble as well as QB’s such as Manziel, in the NFL is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish. Go take a look at Luke Joekel or Eric Fisher. These two were the most dominant tackles in college but the NFL welcomed them with not so open arms. Now throw in the word “left” before the word tackle and it gets even more difficult. Let’s just keep an eye on how Matthews looks and how he fits in this new role.
Jake Locker, Zach Mettenberger vs Pass Rush
Jonathan Babineaux, Kroy Biermann, Osi Umenyiora, and Jonathan Massaquoi will be getting an easier test this week against not-so-impressive Tennessee quarterbacks. The Falcons are still looking for that one elite pass rusher out of these four, so let’s see some stepping-up! Mettenberger and Locker, Locker especially, are not good at stepping up in the pocket or creating more time so there will be no excuse to this one.
How impressive is Devonta Freeman thus far? Freeman is quickly establishing himself as an offensive weapon for Matt Ryan. He has averaged over 5.0 yards per carry, and even hauled in a 57 yard pass in week one. Despite Steven Jackson returning soon, Freeman has the chance to guarantee himself some carries in the regular season. Can he continue to impress against the Titans this week?