The Atlanta Falcons have several key players who they can count on and depending on the week-to-week matchup.
They may need one certain player to step up in an even bigger role during a certain week if they want to have a chance at pulling out a victory. Some may be experienced veterans, while others may be younger players who have the skill set to match up well against the opponent.
Certainly, football is a team game, but you also cannot let the other team’s best player beat you. You need to put your team in the best situation to succeed every week.
These Atlanta Falcons must step up in Weeks 1-8 for them to win
Week 1 – Philadelphia Eagles
Key player: Kaleb McGary (RT)
The decision for the Atlanta Falcons key player in week one came down to Kaleb McGary or Chris Lindstrom. With Kaleb McGary mainly blocking Brandon Graham, or Chris Lindstrom blocking Fletcher Cox.
Ultimately the deciding factor came down to the fact that McGary is more likely to have a bad game than Lindstrom. As well as, Graham had a better year than Fletcher did this last season.
It will be imperative that McGary gives Matt Ryan enough time to find a target downfield without having Graham’s hands all in his face. The strength of the Eagles’ defense is no doubt the defensive line.
If Matt Ryan gets enough time, it could be a long day for the Eagles’ defense.
Week 2 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Key Player: A.J. Terrell (CB)
Last season when the Atlanta Falcons played the Buccaneers, particularly in the second matchup, A.J. Terrell had one of his worst games.
Terrell seemingly struggled when he was faced up against bigger receivers like Mike Evans. Terrell has the body to be able to challenge Evans, and he needs to do just that.
The defense cannot give Brady the benefit of having a receiver who can physically dominate, thus Terrell needs to get in Evans face and challenge him from the snap.
If he does that, it will negate a primary third down conversion target and endzone target. It comes down to who will be able to play through contact better, A.J. Terrell or Mike Evans?