Atlanta Falcons: Five keys to beat Philadelphia Eagles

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2) Protecting Matt Ryan

Aug 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes over Tennessee Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones (90) during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We all know how important this will be in Monday night’s game. Can the re-tooled offensive line protect Matt Ryan for 4 quarters? Who knows, but in order to win the game they will have to. While creating holes for the running backs will be important, keeping Ryan upright and giving him time to throw the ball is twice as important.

It’s a shame to have as good a receiving core as the Falcons have and not have an offensive line that can allow Ryan to get them the ball. It keeps me up at night, but hey, maybe this last-minute shakeup will actually produce. If you aren’t aware of what has gone down in the last week on the Falcons’ o-line, here is the run-down.

Jon Asamoah placed on IR. Andy Levitre traded to Falcons from Titans to play LG. Joe Hawley cut, Gino Gradkowski signed. Mike Person plugged in to be new starting center. Yeah, all of that has just taken place over the last seven days believe it or not.

If you ask me, the names on the o-line are not bad. Sure, Person is pretty bad, but let’s hope Gradkowski or James Stone are better and take his starting job. Other than Person, the other four men on the line are pretty solid. Jake Matthews nad Ryan Schraeder are both solid tackles while Chris Chester and Levitre are savvy veterans who know how to block.

If the Falcons’ o-line can give Ryan a clean pocket for more than two second then the outlook is tremendous. Ryan will complete pass after pass to Jones, White and Hankerson and the offense will move up and down the field with ease.