Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/13/13
Atlanta, GA- The Atlanta Falcons lost the season opener to the Saints 23-17 at the Superdome in New Orleans. However, the Falcons can rectify the situation if they impress the Atlanta fans at the Georgia Dome Sunday, September 15. Fan of the Falcons or not, many people were expecting many more points from the team that went to the NFC Championship game last year. Getting held under twenty points into the fourth quarter was quite the let down as both teams defenses showed up to play. What does this mean for Falcons fans? It means the Falcons are who they were last year. They will be a team that will produce two to three touchdowns in the first half, but the offense will continue to sputter in the second half as the opposing team seems to make all the correct adjustments to slow down this otherwise powerful offensive attack. Minor Fixes This second half conundrum can be fixed by one man, Steven Jackson. He’s a running back that wants the ball in his hands more than eleven times in one game. In St. Louis the offense was practically run through this man.Take notes Mike Smith. This is what Jackson was made for. (Photo Credit:Chris Graythen/Getty Images The offense starts with Matt [Ryan],” Steven Jackson said according to CBS Sports. “I will get the bulk of my carries in the second half. In the first half, I would imagine the majority of my touches will be receiving the ball.” Considering Jackson was targeted eight times in the passing game he was correct in one aspect, but the carries from scrimmage needs to increase. Matt Ryan was sacked three times while he was hit six times. Drew Brees was hit only three times but with two sacks. The Saints also ran the ball twice as much as the Falcons with a total of 29 rushing attempts. Running the ball, even unsuccessfully, will provide Ryan with better opportunities to throw the ball down field to either Roddy White or Julio Jones. Speaking of Roddy White, he needs to sit this one out. With a high ankle sprain I’d feel much better if he was ready to play by week four at his full potential, rather than seeing him limp around the field as a fancy distraction. Harry Douglass made great use of the extended playing time with four receptions for 93 yards. I won’t be too hard on Lamar Holmes even though many analysts have targeted him as the cause for numerous Matt Ryan pressures. The truth of this matter is that Holmes got beat on some in the third quarter plays, but I believe he will step up for this team. Until then the Falcons should hire a good strength and conditioning coach. Staying the course While the offense of the Falcons was not fully exploited due to White not being in the lineup, the run defense and the front four of the Falcons delightfully surprised me. With 29 rushing attempts the Saints only gained 78-rushing-yards, which averages to only 2.7 yards per carry. In order for the Falcons to have any type of defensive success, the key will be to stop Daryl Richardson. When the Falcons stop the Rams rushing attack then they will have to contend with Sam Bradford. Unfortunately for Bradford, the time to test the Atlanta’s rookie corners is nearly at an end. It’s true, in the end Brees started to wear down the secondary late in the game as the pass rush seemed to disintegrate, but before then Robert Alford made an interception and broke up a few passes. If Asante Samuel returns then Bradford could be in for a long day. Prediction As I predicted before, the Falcons will beat the St. Louis Rams in their home opener in Atlanta. Expect to see 21 points from the Dirty Birds in the first half, three points in the third quarter and a touchdown in the final four minutes of play to put the game out of reach. Falcons win 31-21.

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

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

LeBron James reportedly will not waive no-trade clause

Spieth tells caddie to 'get that' after incredible eagle putt

Jerry Jones weighs in on NFL's Ezekiel Elliott investigation

McFadden missed Cowboys charter flight to training camp

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game


Report: Mayweather's GF being harassed by McGregor fans

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

Senator jokes that President Trump should nominate Tom Brady for ambassadorship

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Report: Irving believes LeBron leaked word of trade request

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker