Five Atlanta Falcons that must play better in week two


The Atlanta Falcons will host the Eagles at Mercedes Benz Stadium Sunday evening, their first of two nationally televised games in 2019. After a week one disaster, there will be a few guys that need to improve dramatically in week two.

It wasn’t that the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Minnesota Vikings in week one that was the biggest story from the Falcons perspective last week, it was how they lost. They were outplayed and outcoached from the start and that had not been what anyone was expecting.

As has been the case, we got Dan Quinn clichés and rhetoric that no one was expecting. We also were treated to a cute new slogan “Falcons vs All Y’all” and plenty of gear to buy.

As we move closer to kickoff, there are plenty of guys that need to play better, but here are the most important five.

1. Vic Beasley Jr

Vic Beasley Jr has never been part of the Falcons base defensive packages and has never been asked to set the edge. He was drafted as a specialty pass rusher and now in his fifth season, his responsibilities are changing.

With a week under his belt, Beasley has to play better and has to actually set an edge this week. His play should drive everyone to the middle of the field or force guys to bounce wide outside and allow the linebackers to flow and make tackles for loss.

Beasley is one of the best at pressuring the quarterback, he now has to become one of the best at finishing the play.

2. Takk McKinley

It would be too simple to simply type “see above” but everything we just stated for Beasley is exactly what Takk needs to do as well. We all wanted to believe that coming out of UCLA, that McKinley was a complete football player, but it turns out he is a pass rusher with a big mouth and rarely backs up all his talk.

Like we said earlier this week, it is time for Takk McKinley to stop talking about what he is going to do and actually go do it.

3. Jake Matthews

He was awful last week, there isn’t a nicer way to put it. From the first play of the game, it was evident that Jake Matthews was not ready to play and the offense suffered because of it. The Falcons passing attack should be the best in the National Football League, but if Matthews cannot pass protect better than he did last week against the Vikings, we will never get to see it.

4. Isaiah Oliver

Blogging Dirty has stated going back to June, that Oliver was going to be the most tested corner in the NFL in 2019 and while Kirk Cousins did not have to throw a lot in week one, he was successful when throwing at Isaiah Oliver.

Carson Wentz and the Eagles have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL not named the Atlanta Falcons. Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor are going to target the second-year corner and if he isn’t ready, it will be a long day for him and the Falcons defense.

5. Jamon Brown

While he did not play a snap last week versus the Vikings, but will start in place of injured rookie Chris Lindstrom at right guard. Lindstrom was one of a handful of players that played very well against the Vikings and will be missed for the foreseeable future.

Brown is known as a road grader and will need to show that effort this week against the defensive front of the Eagles in order to Devonta Freeman to get going.

Next. Sunday is a must win for the Atlanta Falcons. dark

If Brown cannot get it done, the Falcons will turn to either Wes Schweitzer like they did last week or big John Wetzel who was in camp with the Falcons.