The Atlanta Falcons will be facing off against a tough team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have their hands full in a number of different areas if they are going to avoid a winless two weeks to start the season.
Nothing the Falcons showed in week one would make you believe they have a chance against the defending champions – but this is the NFL, meaning there is always a chance.
It is another Tom Brady vs. Matt Ryan matchup and come Monday morning, we can only hope we are talking about how Matt Ryan pulled out a win against one of the best quarterbacks of all time. However, this matchup will come down to a lot more than just the quarterbacks.
The Falcon’s physical strength will determine if they win or not.
Just look at the players Atlanta has the task of stopping or beating on Sunday – Rob Gronkowski, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, Tristan Wirfs, Mike Evans, and Leonard Fournette.
Relative to these players’ specific positions, they are strong humans. It is up to numerous Falcons players to show that they can match them in strength and muscles on the gridiron.
Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun will have the task of covering Gronk in the passing game and attempting to blow up while bringing down Fournette in the run game. It is a little concerning as Debo and Foye are known for their speed over their strength
Next are Jalen Mayfield and Chris Lindstrom. They will be attempting to block two of the strongest and biggest players in the entire NFL.
Lindstrom has shown he can be counted on, while Mayfield was anything but good in his debut, thus it is obviously more concerning to see Mayfield trying to stop the two powerful bodies on the Bucs. He will likely match up against Vita Vea for the most part – a suggestion for the Falcons coaching staff is to run every play to the other side.
Whichever underachieving pass rusher is in for the Falcons on any given play could be going up against a strong sophomore player in Tristian Wirfs, and they need to somehow find a way to get past him.
Nonetheless, you do not like the chances of Atlanta’s pass rushers getting to Brady on his right side.
Finally, there is Mike Evans who had a disappointing start to his season.
It will be mostly up to A.J. Terrell to handle the big body receiver for Tampa Bay. Terrell has struggled in his two games going up against Evans. It was one of the few weak spots for A.J. during his rookie season, he just struggled with big bodies.
Terrell quietly had a great game against the Eagles, and as mentioned before, Mike Evans struggled against the Cowboys. You could definitely see a scenario where Terrell is able to lock down Evans, giving the Falcons a much greater chance at winning the game.
All in all, this upcoming game will be determined by the Atlanta Falcons either showing that they can out-muscle the Bucs or they simply get ran through. It will be interesting to see the response from this team.