Pressure Early and Often on Matt Ryan
It’s no secret that New England head coach Bill Belichick is a defensive genius, and has undoubtedly studied the Falcons tendencies to the nth degree.
The Falcons offense likes to be balanced, but as seen against the Packers, when the run game isn’t able to really get going, Matt Ryan takes up the slack and will pass this team downfield.
The best way to get (and keep) Atlanta out of an offensive rhythm is to put Matt Ryan on his back and get him rattled. Expect the Pats to attack the Atlanta offensive line often and early, bringing heavy pressure on Ryan.
The Atlanta offensive line should be girted up for a heavy assault very early in this game. New England, like Atlanta, is good at getting to the quarterback, sacking opposing passers 34 times during the regular season. They’ve also picked-off four passes already this postseason.
Quick, two-step drop passing plays and a variety of screens will be the best way to soften up the Patriots aggressive pass rush.