3 Carolina Panthers the Atlanta Falcons must slow down in week 8
By Nick Halden
3. Brian Burns
Brian Burns’ elite ability to get to the quarterback combined with Marcus Mariota’s insistence on standing in the pocket staring down his receivers until the pocket collapses is a terrible combination that could give Burns the chance to play the role of a game-wrecker.
If Mariota does start this game and remain in it would be shocking to see the Falcons give him more than a handful of plays in the pocket considering what he put on display against the Bengals. His indecisiveness resulted in two sacks that ended drives for Atlanta when they were attempting to fight back into the game. If Atlanta makes the mistake of putting Mariota in the pocket consistently in this game Burns is going to have an impact and a chance to be a deciding factor in the game. While this could be true for any passing attack against Burns it is especially the case when you have a quarterback who is going to stand in the pocket until the last possible moment unable to make a quick decision.
Atlanta’s best game plan is going to be doing exactly what they did against San Francisco running the ball straight at Carolina throwing only short quick routes to help keep the defense honest. Mariota cannot be given responsibility as a passer in this game.