Atlanta Falcons Matchups: AFC South Opponents

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Aug 16, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester (17) scores a touchdown during the second quarter as Houston Texans defensive back Brandon Harris (26) attempts to make a tackle at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4: vs Houston Texans

The Falcons’ first test against the AFC South comes in Week 4 at home to the Houston Texans. The Texans bounced back nicely in 2014 after winning just twice the season prior.

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Defensively the Texans can hurt you, and it starts up front. Led by the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, they have now added the 365-pound Vince Wilfork into the mix. When 2014 first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney returns, along with the addition of rookie linebacker Benardrick McKinney, the front seven looks strong.

They got beat over the top in the passing game too much, but they have added cornerback Kevin Johnson to shore up the secondary.

On offense, it’s still unknown who will start at quarterback. Will it be Brian Hoyer? Ryan Mallett? A strong receiver corps awaits whoever starts under center. They of course have Arian Foster in the backfield, although he turns 29 in August.

The Falcons will need to find a way of putting up points. They have the talent to expose the Texans’ secondary, but need to ensure the dominance of Watt is slowed down enough to keep Matt Ryan upright.

If Vic Beasley can hit the ground running, he should be able to generate the pass rush to cause the quarterback, no matter who it is, serious problems.

Playing at home, the Falcons should have enough on offense to score points against the Texans’ defense, and the defense will improve enough to slow down Foster and company.

Next: Week 7: @ Tennessee Titans