Falcons vs. Texans: Complete game preview

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Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown with receiver Julio Jones (11) against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What to watch

How the Falcons deal with the rush

J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney will bring plenty of pressure with them to the Georgia Dome, and it’s down to the offensive line to protect Matt Ryan. Watt will likely require double teams, and it’s going to be important to ensure everyone else does their jobs to avoid mismatches from the other pass rushers.

The Falcons may look to use some screen passes and a heavy dose of the run to help ease off the rush, too. How Kyle Shanahan plans to slow down this dominant pass rush will be key in this game.

The run game

It’s clear this Atlanta Falcons team wants to run the football often, and that’s why we can expect a lot of carries to be heading Devonta Freeman’s way again this week. He took the ball 30 times against Dallas and piled on 141 yards and three touchdowns. The second-year man is getting the ball, and he’ll be expected to produce.

Vic Beasley and the pass rush

Ryan Mallett can’t keep pace with Matt Ryan, so the Falcons need to make sure he has to. Take away the run game and ramping up the pressure on Mallett are the keys to stopping this offense. When under pressure, he will make mistakes. Vic Beasley will be the key to this.

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