Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/1/13
This Sunday at 1 PM ET the Atlanta Falcons (2-5) will take on the Carolina Panthers (4-3) for the first time this season. The Falcons were hoping and favored to be coming into this game at 3-4, but were embarrassed completely by the Arizona Cardinals. The Falcons have exhibited poor execution in the running game, on the offensive and defensive line, and they have been less than consistent. So how are the Falcons supposed to beat a division rival playing at the level they’re playing and with the injuries they’ve been dealt? Here’s a few things that need to be fixed by Sunday.  Consistency The Falcons haven’t been consistent in the red zone all season and kicking field goals isn’t going to win you a game. This showed against the Cardinals. The coaches also need to work on better play calling because they’re costing the team games also. They’ll call all running plays or passing plays in a drive and then boom…The Falcons go three and out or find themselves settling for a field goal. They play not to lose instead of playing to win and that’s not what they need to do, considering the team that they have left so far this year. Defense The Falcons’ defense also can’t stop anyone in the red zone and that has also killed them. Defense wins games. The defensive line has to create pressure, enough said. If the defense isn’t playing, shootout with the opposing team ensues, which will come down to one interception or whoever has the ball last. If the defense gets stops, winning is much easier and so is controlling the game. Take for instance the Denver Broncos vs. the Indianapolis Colts…the Broncos’ defense was exposed. Run blocking If the Falcons don’t get this offensive line run blocking, the Falcons will be done. Matt Ryan can’t rely on the pass game like he once could with wideouts Roddy White and Julio Jones out. Steven Jackson returned and nothing happened; Matt Ryan had the most rushing yards in the game- problem! And Atlanta can’t be predictable and expect Tony Gonzalez to carry them down the field for every possession and score every time. Predictability kills more so than consistency, and can lead to a lot of three-and-outs, as was shown in the Cardinals game. There are injuries which are crucial, but if these problems are fixed the Falcons will be better than they have been so far. The coaches ultimately need to take control of this team and fix these problems or their jobs will be in question. This team is better than what they’ve been showing and it almost seems like they’re going back to a previous era when the Falcons were nothing. Hopefully, someway, they’ll fix these problems and the Falcons can pull out a win against Cam Newton and company.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Matt Ryan
TEAMS: Atlanta Falcons
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