The Atlanta Falcons lead the Philadelphia Eagles 10-6 at halftime of the NBC Sunday night football game of the week.
What a difference a week has made for the Atlanta Falcons defense. Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley have looked much better as both pass rushers as well as their ability to set the edge.
Deion Jones is flying around making plays, including a clean shot he got at Carson Wentz ribs that forced Wentz to throw a jump ball that allowed Desmond Trufant to come down with his first of two interceptions tonight. Trufant did not have any in 2018.
The offense looked good on the opening drive until a missed block by Luke Stocker allowed Eagles defensive end, Brandon Graham, to blow up Devonta Freeman in the Falcons backfield. Expect Matt Ryan to keep targeting Ronald Darby, he cannot guard Julio Jones nor Calvin Ridley.
If the Falcons are going to even their record to 1-1, they have to do the following in the second half.
Jake Matthews is struggling again this week. He is getting beat over and over again by Derek Barnett. The Falcons need to recognize this and get him some help with either a tight end or a running back to chip.
North and South
Both Devonta Freeman and Calvin Ridley seem to struggle to get upfield. They both have a tendency to dance behind the line of scrimmage and try to go east/west instead of north/south. Both have to realize against a defense this fast that beating anyone to the corner is not likely going to happen. Take the lane that is given to you and pick up whatever positive yards you can.
Quick Passing Game
The Falcons had a lot of success in the first half when going to their quick passing game. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has to recognize that and go it more often. Three steps and out. Koetter also has to get Ito Smith more involved, he is the better option at running back and that has been obvious through six quarters of football.
The quick passing game will open up the double moves that the Eagles corners are susceptible to and open up more of the downfield shots we have seen Matt Ryan take in the first half.
The Eagles will receive the kick to begin the third quarter.