Three adjustments the Atlanta Falcons have to make at halftime


The Atlanta Falcons kicked off the season in Minnesota and had less than an ideal start to the game.

Atlanta Falcons rookie Kaleb McGary got the start at left tackle, though he did not play much of the first half after the initial drive, which is shocking as he and fellow rookie Chris Lindstrom were the lone bright spots on a horrific first drive.

The Falcons defense we believed was back and would be among the best in the NFL has looked anything but good. The lone bright spot defensively has been Grady Jarret.

If the Falcons are going to rally in the second half of this one, here are three adjustments that they have to make at halftime.

Gap Responsibility on the defensive line

The Falcons defensive line is making it easy for the Vikings offensive line to move them aside. Both running backs for the Vikings, Dalvin Cook, and rookie Alexander Mattison have rushed for more than 120 yards in the first half.

The Falcons have moved to a five-man front for the majority of their defensive calls and the defensive line seems lost into what exactly they are responsible for. This is something that has to be fixed quickly or the Vikings will run for more than 300 yards in this game.

The defense as a whole has to become more aggressive and execute.

Koetter’s first down play-calling

First down play-calling has been terrible for the Falcons. Dirk Koetter has to help the Falcons out in this regard. Sure, most of the lack of offensive production comes from player’s lack of execution, but a coach’s job is to put them in a position to be successful and calling garbage like a double reverse on first down, isn’t the answer.

The Falcons are trying to get the sideline on a lot of first-down run plays. Against a defense this quick, that isn’t happening. Dives and cutbacks would help the offensive line gain confidence and would allow for better third down and yards to go situations.

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Back to basics

The Falcons have three turnovers in the first half – interception, fumble and a punt block. They have to get back to basics – ball security and blocking. If they cannot do those two very simple football basics, the Vikings will embarrass the Falcons in the second half.

The Falcons offensive line has been atrocious. No communication and making bad reads which have led to Matt Ryan getting pummeled. When Ryan has had time, he has done a great job of spreading the ball.