A few concerns the Falcons have heading to Minnesota


The Atlanta Falcons are five days away from kicking off the 2019 NFL season in Minnesota. While we feel great about this roster, there are still some unknowns.

On Saturday afternoon just before the 4 pm NFL deadline for final cuts to be made, the Atlanta Falcons announced their initial 53-man roster for 2019. There were some surprises on it, like keeping five running backs.

While we feel great about this roster and that it is Super Bowl worthy, there are still some unknowns; unknowns that could take this team from 12-4 to 9-7 in a hurry.

Offensive Line

This is still a big area of concern for the Atlanta Falcons. At some point this season they will start five former first-round picks up front, however, that will not be week one against the Vikings. Matt Gono is taking the first-team reps this week at right tackle as rookie first-round pick Kaleb McGary gets back into game shape after his unscheduled surgery during the preseason.

While Matt Gono played well this preseason, it will be a much different task of facing a defense like Minnesota’s. Gono was inactive for all but week 17 last year, so this will be his first real test as an NFL player.

Defensive Depth

Isaiah Oliver will be the most tested cornerback in the National Football League. Sitting opposite of Desmond Trufant is a surefire way of making sure every offensive coordinator and every quarterback comes after you.

Say what you will about Desmond Trufant not being as good as he once was, but he proved the final 12 weeks in 2018 that he was back and was the best tackling corner during that period.

Depth is also an issue on defense. They are very young on the back end of the defense. Linebacker depth is untested as is the depth at corner. Jermaine Grace, Duke Riley, Jordan Miller, and Kendall Sheffield are going to be called upon at some point this season and are going to have to step up.

Return game

The coaching staff feels good enough with Kenjon Barner that they cut sixth-round pick Marcus Green, who decided to sign with the Eagles practice squad. Kenjon got trucked last year by Matt Bosher is a play no one will forget. If Barner can be productive, he has a chance to be a real weapon for the Falcons in an area they have lacked for a long time.

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Week one is a big test for the Atlanta Falcons and one that could set them up for success playing a schedule that has no breaks. If the young pieces on this roster grow up quickly, the Falcons have an opportunity to be better than expected.