As with the start of every NFL season, there is a lot of excitement that surrounds the Atlanta Falcons and the potential to be legendary in 2019.
Of course, to be legendary the Atlanta Falcons have to take this journey a day at a time focus on the task at hand. That task this week is the Minnesota Vikings.
As Dan Quinn loves to say, improve one percent every day and if they can do that this team will be peaking heading into the playoffs, which will be a beautiful sight to behold.
Match-ups are important in any sporting event; making sure you get the best of those match-ups is the key to winning any game that is played. There are five match-ups that the Falcons must win in week one in order to leave Minnesota 1-0.
Sure not a singular player, but this group needs to have chemistry and be cohesive as this match-up is critical. The Vikings have a defense that is built to win championships and the Falcons offensive line has to come prepared for the battle that will ensure in the trenches.
The Vikings defensive line is one of the best in football and this will be a very important test for rookies Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. If those two can hold their own against Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Shamar Stephen, and Everson Griffen that will give them a lot of confidence and momentum moving forward.
We have mentioned several times that Oliver will be the most tested starting corner in the National Football League and he will be facing a very good wide receiving in Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen. The Falcons love the strides that Oliver has made and he looked pretty good in the preseason, but this will be a big test for the second-year player.
Before missing the final 13 games in 2018, it was clear that Ricardo Allen was the defensive captain. No, he isn’t as elite as Deion Jones or wasn’t picked for the Pro Bowl like Keanu Neal, but Allen was the glue that held the defense together and his leadership was missed.
Ricardo Allen is going to have his hands full against an offense that features two of the best wide receivers, an elite tight end in Kyle Rudolph and young back in Dalvin Cook can run over you or around you.
The Falcons are going to need pre-injury Ricardo Allen to show up Sunday to have a chance.
As Hooper becomes a bigger weapon, he helps to ensure that Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Calvin Ridley see single coverage more often than not. Having “Hoop” pick up where he left off in 2018 is going to key for this offense to be among the elite in the league.
Why a punter? That is simple, Matt Bosher can flip the field which is a help to both the defense and the offense. Bosher has not been good in recent years and is going to be needed to help elongate the field for the Vikings offense and help the Falcons offense play with a shorter field.
If Bosher can be more accurate, have better hang time and pin the Vikings deep, the Falcons win the game.