It’s not because of the record. It’s certainly not because of fans screaming about how bad their team will be this season. But it’s for the players’ confidence.
The Falcons are down in ego right now. Losing 32-7 isn’t good, preseason or not. It forces the players to have a reality check, and that their team may not be good as they thought.
If they lose against the Titans, this season can rapidly go down in the toilet. Confidence is crucial, and it may seem as if they lost most of it in the blowout.
It’s time to gain it back.
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The game will be a shoot-out. Both defenses have struggled thus far, and is widely known as two of the lower ranked in the NFL. Look for Matt Ryan and the rest of the dynamic starting offense to march down the field each time they get the ball.
Starting Titans QB Jake Locker is a scrambler so the Falcons should look towards containment.
Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst will not play, so the Falcons defense will be met with the challenge of Zach Mettenberger, a 6th round pick out of LSU. Pass rush is a must against rookie quarterbacks, so the Falcons should be blitzing a lot to try to get in his head.
And last but not least, keep a “special” (teams) eye on Eric Weems. Weems was signed yesterday by the Falcons, and he specializes in kick returning. Devin Hester will attempt to keep that spot, as he is widely known as the best kick returner in NFL history.