We are already halfway through the season now as Atlanta Falcon’s fans. It has been what it always is, a roller coaster ride. Atlanta has flown under the radar these past three weeks climbing back to 4-4. Each week we have seen improvement, and Dan Quinn seems to believe Atlanta’s best football is ahead of them.
At this point it seems rather obvious that Atlanta’s best defense is the fire power of their offense. Teams simply are struggling to hang in offensively with them. Regardless, let’s take a look at what Atlanta’s defense needs to do to stop the tough Cleveland Browns.
Shut Down Their Confidence
The Cleveland Browns are going through a big skid recently. They were 2-2-1 at one point. Four weeks later and four more losses, they now stand at 2-6-1, with their defensive coordinator Gregg Williams now filling in as the interim Head Coach. This team is struggling to find their footing and Atlanta cannot let them find it on Sunday. Cleveland is 23rd in total offense and have one of the league’s lowest third down conversion rate at 32%. If Atlanta can stuff them on early downs and force them into third down situations they should find a lot of success.
With the signing of Bruce Irvin, the Falcons have gotten a duplicate of Vic Beasley. Speed rush from both of the sides should create some type of havoc for teams. Hopefully both Bruce Irvin and Vic Beasley can find their old selves within the combination of the two and produce. With a struggling offensive line in Cleveland and an inexperienced rookie quarterback in Baker Mayfield, Cleveland provides a perfect crash course test for Atlanta to experiment with some new blitz packages. We know Bruce Irvin is excited to be in Atlanta, let’s hope we see some production immediately for the city.
Amazingly, Deion Jones should be back next week for Dallas; However, we have seen some improvement in the play between our young linebackers of Foye Oloukon and Duke Riley. We need both of these linebackers to continue to develop and have a good game on Sunday. Last week Duke Johnson found his first productive game of the season catching 9 passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. David Njoku is a solid threat as well. Njoku and Johnson are tough matchups and will be getting their fair share of targets on Sunday. If these young linebackers can dominate on Sunday, it should give Quinn and Manuel some confidence that Deion Jones does not have to rush back into his typical role. Let’s hope this defense can find itself this week once again and keep up the win streak heading down the second half stretch.
Atlanta should win this matchup. Cleveland is struggling and Matt Ryan is as hot as any Quarterback in the league. Cleveland’s offense just will not be able to keep up the pace. Look for Atlanta to get some turnovers on Sunday in what I expect to be a huge win.