This Sunday at 4:25 PM ET, the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) are going on the road against the Arizona Cardinals (3-4). The Falcons are striving to recover from their injury prone season and have finally won their second game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week (bye bye Greg Schiano!). If the team continues to win, they have a shot at making the playoffs with the NFC picture becoming sketchy with injured quarterbacks and teams just having a slower season than they were supposed to.
Compared to last week, the opponent the Falcons are facing is better obviously. But, the Falcons can still beat them easily.
Hopefully, Atlanta’s coaches know what kind of talent they have on their team. Harry Douglas had the best game of his career last week and Drew Davis also showed his impressive skills.
Tony Gonzalez is the main person Matt Ryan can always depend on to make a play. But, the Falcons also have to run the ball efficiently to take pressure away from Douglas and the other new wide receivers and keep the offense balanced.
Last week was an element of surprise for everyone; no one knew the passing game would do so well. Now that the Cardinals have some tape to look at, you don’t want backs double covering the receivers and leaving Ryan with no targets.
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Another thing to keep in mind is the game the Cardinals played vs. the Seahawks a week ago. Carson Palmer is not the best quarterback and the Cards don’t have the best pass defense as shown last Thursday night. The Falcons should definitely consider insuring putting pressure on the quarterback so he can throw more interceptions.
With Mike Nolan on the sideline now, maybe he’ll see the changes that need to be done. The offensive line can’t fall apart as they did versus the Patriots and Jets, not counting the Bucs defensive line because well, they’re win less. They have to execute run blocking and protect Matt, which they’ve done a better job at recently.
With Steven Jackson back this week, you can definitely expect the Falcons to be better but this game is a true test of have they really gotten better. There are improvements that you can see but you can’t say the Falcons are out of the postseason race or if they’re in it. Coach Mike Smith always says to, “…take it one game at a time,” and that’s what they’re going to do. They have to take things slow and not have any long-term outlooks on their season down the road.
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