Three Keys for the Atlanta Falcons in Week Two

Three keys for the Atlanta Falcons as they host the Green Bay Packers in week two
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

After their week one victory over the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Green Bay Packers in week two. The Packers also picked up a big win last week as they defeated the Chicago Bears and saw Jordan Love throw three touchdown passes.

The matchup will likely be tight and could be heavily influenced by injuries for Green Bay. We’ll discuss three major keys for the Atlanta Falcons to pick up the win and continue their push for a hot start to the new season.

How will injuries affect the Packers:

Injuries can play a significant role in deciding matchups throughout the long NFL season, and the Packers could be without a few key players during this matchup. Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, and Quay Walker were limited throughout the week of practice, and their availability could dictate how Green Bay approaches this game.

Jones exploded with over 100+ total yards and two touchdowns last week and is a stellar dual-threat option at running back. If he’s unable to go, AJ Dillon will get the starting nod which could limit the passing threat out of the backfield.

Watson and Walker are important parts of the offense and defense respectively and having them at full strength would ensure this game is as competitive as possible. Walker in particular could be a key part of stopping the Falcons’ strong rush game which we’ll dive into next.

Will the Falcons rushing game continue to thrive:

Since Arthur Smith became head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, their offense has mainly focused on a strong rushing game and consistent production out of their backfield. Last week the team put up 130 rushing yards and saw both their running backs average at least five yards a carry while Tyler Allgier added two rushing touchdowns.

Controlling the clock throughout this matchup could be vital to a victory, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Falcons run the ball 30-35 times. Bijan Robinson helped contribute as a pass-catcher on quick passes and dump-offs from Desmond Ridder, but the team should make sure they continue to utilize him as a rusher as much as possible.

Can Desmond Ridder get Kyle Pitts and Drake London involved:

Even though the Falcons picked up a victory last week, there was still criticism around Desmond Ridder, the team’s passing game, and the lack of involvement for both wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts. Ridder only threw the ball 18 times and had only totaled 115 passing yards by the time the game ended.

It may be more frustrating for fantasy owners than the coaching staff or front office if the team continues to win, but getting both players involved could be pivotal to the team’s success if they hope to make and potentially win a playoff game.

London will have a tough matchup against Jaire Alexander this week so Pitts could see the majority of targets if the team does focus more on the passing game. It will truly be shocking if these players only combine for two catches like last week and their play could help Ridder continue his development at quarterback.