How the Atlanta Falcons can get the offense rolling again


The Atlanta Falcons offense has become stagnant the past few games. There are a few reasons that can explain the drop off in scoring production from the first few weeks of the season to this point.

Perhaps the biggest reason for a lack of production is that Julio Jones has been nursing a sore hamstring, which has limited his effectiveness. With Jones being limited in his ability to run routes, the Falcons are without a true wide receiver to stretch the field.

The opposing defenses are now able to focus on playing the Falcons wideouts for short intermediate passes. Safeties can be more aggressive against slants and outs. In order for the Falcons offense to get back on track they have to at least attempt a few passes down the field each half to soften up the defense.

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In addition to Julio being limited, it appears that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is protecting the offensive linemen by having Matt Ryan get rid of the ball quickly. Shanahan has to start trusting the offensive line to block for a few more seconds and give Ryan time to get the ball down the field. These type of throws open up the middle of the field.

The Falcons could help themselves by placing rookie receiver Justin Hardy on the active roster and getting him the ball. He is young and probably the second fastest receiver on the team.  He could also be used to run some deep patterns in attempt to make big plays in the passing game or at least give the defense something to think about.

Hopefully the Falcons will get Devin Hester healthy, but the earliest he could contribute is on December 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hester is another receiver that can stretch the field. The Falcons may have to search the waiver wire to find a legitimate depth threat to the offensive be more dynamic.

What do you think the Falcons need to do on offense?

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