Atlanta Falcons: Ten keys for victory vs. Jaguars

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Sep 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) hits Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray (29) in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

6. Fix the run defense

It wasn’t long ago the Falcons owned the league’s No. 1 run defense. But then Adrian Peterson came to town and had something to say about that. And then Doug Martin joined the party and ran through at will. Last week, the Panthers piled on 142 rushing yards.

So while Atlanta may not be ranked in the top ten for run defense, they still have the players that dominated opposing rushing attacks for the first 10 games of the season. The Jaguars run game isn’t as daunting as some of the others the Falcons have faced recently, so they should fare better.

5. Convert opportunities

It comes down to this so often. Last week, I wrote that the Falcons needed to take the half-chances to have any chance of beating the Panthers. Robert Alford had a great opportunity to pick off Cam Newton while the game was 7-0. One play later, Newton found Ted Ginn for a 74-yard touchdown.

If Alford makes the play, the game could have been completely different. The Falcons need to take advantage of their opportunities, whether it’s taking the ball away or punching it into the end zone when down in the red zone.

Next: All about the defense