Atlanta Falcons: Checklist for Falcons prior to Titans game


The undefeated record of the Atlanta Falcons is no more at this point. Anyone with hopes of a 16-0 season can lay those dreams to rest. However, all is not lost. The Falcons are still sitting in a comfortable spot with a 5-1 record and winnable games ahead on the agenda.

With this mini bye week prior to Sunday’s road contest at Tennessee, here are a few tasks that the head coach Dan Quinn and the Falcons need to accomplish.

Get healthy across the board

Thankfully, so far the Falcons have been relatively healthy with a few dinged up players here and there. Notable players such as Julio Jones (hamstring, toe), Justin Durant (elbow) and Mike Person (ankle) have been dealing with their respective injuries.

Durant and Person missed the Saints contest because of the injuries. Jones has stated to the press before that rest is what’s key for his hamstring and he will get plenty of it with 10 days in between games.

Tighten up the pass defense

Atlanta is No. 29 against the pass but thorough research will show that the ranking is more of a testament to poor linebacker coverage, as the Falcons allowed Saints TE Ben Watson to look like Jimmy Graham and gash the defense for 127 yards on 10 catches as well as a touchdown.

MORE: NFL power rankings entering Week 7

Quinn and his staff have made the defense better but in order for the defense to improve, the linebacker play must improve. Specifically, pass coverage from this unit.

The Falcons are still sitting in a comfortable spot with a 5-1 record and winnable games ahead on the agenda.

Getting young playmakers on the frontline

So far in the 2015 season, Julio Jones has been a stud, Desmond Trufant has made receivers a non-factor, and Devonta Freeman has churned out touchdowns left and right. The talent on the team is obvious.

What can make the team even more of a threat is their younger playmakers providing quality depth. Atlanta is fourth in rushing offense behind the stellar play of Freeman, although third round pick Tevin Coleman can make things scarier for opposing defenses.

Rookie DT Grady Jarrett has shown he deserves more playing time and can generate pressure in this defense. Fourth round pick Justin Hardy has been inactive all season but it may be time to see what the rookie can provide to this already stellar offense.

Keep the momentum fresh

Yes, Atlanta suffered a loss to their rival New Orleans in a game where they were supposed to win and win convincingly. Despite that, momentum is still amongst the team. Many did not foresee the Falcons starting off 5-0, including sweeping the talented yet inconsistent division that is the NFC East.

An unexpected loss to a rival with ten days until the next game can knock some teams off course. With that being said, here’s another test for Dan Quinn as a first-time head coach. Maintaining the focus, placing the loss behind them and staying on track.

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