The 1-1 Atlanta Falcons have a considerable test on Sunday afternoon, as the team looks to start a winning streak when they face off with the 2-0 Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium at 4:05 p.m.
Fresh off a 31-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams, the Falcons are ready to show the world that they are indeed Super Bowl contenders, but in order to do so they will have to deliver against a Dolphins squad that has looked much better this season and appears to have an excellent shot of winning the AFC East for the first time since 2008.
The big question for the Falcons in this game focuses squarely on the running game. The ground attack was severely damaged in last week’s win over St. Louis, as the team lost starting running back Steven Jackson for at least two weeks (thigh injury) and lost starting fullback Bradie Ewing (separated shoulder) for the remainder of the year.
With these two mainstays out for a considerable amount of time, the team will most likely turn towards the duo of Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, who have combined for just fifteen carries on the young season. Despite quarterback Matt Ryan’s ability to carve up opposing defenses through the air—he has 678 passing yards and 4 touchdowns through two games—on a fairly regular basis, Atlanta absolutely must establish the running game to keep the Dolphins’ defense, featuring dangerous DE Cameron Wake and former Falcon cornerback Brent Grimes; otherwise Ryan may take an absolute beating from the Fins.