If the Atlanta Falcons want to get a win against the Oakland Raiders, then these five players will need to step up.
Last week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left something to be desired for fans of the Atlanta Falcons. The missed tackles, blown assignments and dropped passes, that are all too familiar, were on full display in just the first week of the 2016 NFL Season. The Falcons need to correct these mistakes if they want any hope of vanquishing the Oakland Raiders this upcoming Sunday.
Despite the mistakes, there were some stand out performances from a good number of Falcon players against Tampa Bay. Lets take a look at 5 players to keep your eyes on this Sunday who can make or break this game for Atlanta.
5. Tevin Coleman
Coleman proved last week that he can be a threat in the passing game. Through various screens and flat routes he was the Falcons leading receiver with 95 yards on 5 catches. Against an Oakland defense that gave up a whopping 419 yards through the air last weekend in New Orleans, he could put up big numbers for the second week in a row.
4. Jake Matthews
The Oakland Raiders boast a formidable front-7 capable of generating multiple sacks per game. With players like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin on the edges, its imperative that Jake Matthews plays better this week for the Falcons. He uncharacteristically gave up a sack (he only allowed one all of last season) and got called for a few bad penalties last week. If he keeps the pocket clean for Matt Ryan, it could be a big day for the Falcon offense.
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3. Aldrick Robinson
An underrated player to watch this week is the lightning-fast Aldrick Robinson. The speedy receiver only played 15 of the Falcons 65 offensive snaps last week. If he could get on the field and break free for one of those long catches we saw in the preseason, it could turn the tide against the Raiders. They looked prone to the deep ball against the Saints.
2. Vic Beasley
The box score of last week’s contest did not include Vic Beasley’s name. The former first-round selection needs a big game to make up for a disappointing Week 1 and to give the Falcons a much needed jolt to their pass rush. The move to outside linebacker has been a tough one for Beasley thus far, but that could all change in Oakland.
1. Desmond Trufant
The star corner came up with one of the biggest plays for the Falcons last Sunday. If he can help generate more turnovers this week vs the Raiders, it will only help this young Atlanta defense. Trufant also has a big matchup with Amari Cooper. Whoever wins this matchup gives their team an undeniable advantage.