The Atlanta Falcons will face six playoff teams in their first nine games this year and that starts by facing the Vikings and the Eagles, both of which are favored to win their divisions in 2019.
As the Atlanta Falcons are trying to wrap up the preseason, we can look at their first couple of opponents. The Falcons will travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings in week one and will host the Philadelphia Eagles in week two on Sunday Night Football.
These are two critical opponents to start the year.
In the Dan Quinn era, the Atlanta Falcons are 0-2 against the Vikings. Both games were ugly as the Vikings defense had the Falcons figured out in both match-ups in 2015 and 2017. Both games were home games for the Falcons and now they will be traveling on the road September 8th for their first game.
For us to have faith in the 2019 Atlanta Falcons they need to start the year on the right foot.
Dan Quinn has a 1-3 record against the Eagles and their only win was week one on Monday Night Football during the 2015 season when he made his coaching debut. Since then, games against the Eagles have been close with their defensive line dominated the Falcons offensive line in all three match-ups as the deciding factor.
For Atlanta to have success against the Eagles and Vikings, the Falcons offensive line must step up in both match-ups. Unfortunately, this is going to be a challenge for the Atlanta Falcons because Kaleb McGary will miss several games to start the year due to a procedure.
The biggest question mark is the replacement right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. Ty Sambrailo has been horrendous during the preseason. The Falcons could pick their local fat guy in the stands and would have the same results against the Jets. Hopefully Matt Gono has a better performance these final two games and is the starting right tackle until McGary comes back.
Danielle Hunter and Brandon Graham against Ty Sambrailo Week One and Two gives everyone nightmares. The offense will be dysfunctional with those pass rushers teeing off to start the year. The offensive line play must step up against these two teams.
Thankfully for the Atlanta Falcons rookie guard Chris Lindstorm could be the x-factor they need to elevate their play. Keeping some of the interior pressure at bay will do wonders for this offense and Lindstrom has a big match-up with Fletcher Cox week two.
With Koetter leading the offense to start the year the Falcons offense will be more of a threat to the Eagles and Vikings compared to Sark.