The Falcons’ season sure has been a roller coaster. Down, up, down again, up for a little while, and then the great big drop. Atlanta has completely failed expectations. However, with this being the last home game of the season, I am sure Dan Quinn would like to give his city something to watch. Let’s hope Atlanta can take care of business against arguably the worst team in the league, in the Arizona Cardinals. Here are the defensive keys to watch.
Atlanta was able to bring down Aaron Rodgers four times last week. Obviously, that was not enough, but a couple big hits to Josh Rosen could make him nervous in the pocket. With the season coming to close, these last few games will have a lot of opportunity for people to earn jobs next year. Atlanta will for sure be drafting a defensive lineman early in April. So be on the look out for the defensive line to be playing for their jobs. Vic Beasley is playing for a contract next year. Young Jack Crawford and Takk McKinley should also being playing with some pride to put some confidence that they don’t need to be replaced.
Shut Down Larry Legend and His Prodigy
Larry Fitzgerald is a big task for any corner back in the league even at his age today. Even at 35 years old, he has caught 5 touchdowns and received plenty of production from his rookie quarterback. He also has taken on the role of mentoring an exciting rookie in Christian Kirk. Trufant will be Atlanta’s number one corner next year, but with Robert Alford’s weak play all season, the second spot is up for grabs. Look for Isaiah Oliver and Brian Poole to get their fair share of reps on both of these solid receivers. Shutting them down, will take away all of Rosen’s options.
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Play With Some Heart
Atlanta clearly has been disappointing to watch. I am sure Dan Quinn is not happy in the locker room either. The lack luster effort and execution that has taken place during this five game skid is almost unbearable. For how talented this roster is on all sides of the ball, this game truly should not be close. However, here we are having only one more win than this rebuilding Arizona team. As plainly as it can be put, if Atlanta’s defense does not play hard and with high energy and high effort, they will not win. Watch the first few drives and take a look at the reactions of this team in general. That will be the tell-tale of who wins this game.
If I had to predict a score, I would say Atlanta wins this game by 20. Arizona is the worst offense in the league, and I am hoping Atlanta’s offense gets back into motion and puts up some points. With the Falcons offense sputtering as of lately, I do think that it has the potential to see a break out game. Atlanta is due a win, and the home crowd deserves a victory in Atlanta’s final game in the city.