Typically when the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles link up you know the game is going down to the wire. That’s exactly what happened Sunday Night. Both teams gave it their all, and both teams had to deal with some sort of adversity. I learned three things about the Falcons Sunday night. One is that our offense and Defensive line showed heart and played physical. Two, it may be time to give Ito Smith more touches. Lastly, The injured starters are back and look to be back to full health.
First thing I took away from Sunday’s win was the defensive line getting pressure. Yes, The Eagles had injuries, but not on their offensive line. They had their full starting rotation, so there should be no excuse for the beating Carson Wentz endured. Our defensive line looked fast and looked motivated to prove that they’re capable of getting pressure on the opposing Quarterback. Coach Quinn had the luxury of only rushing four linemen and dropping back seven in coverage. Led by Pro-Bowl Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett, the Falcons accumulated three sacks and had 10 quarterback hits. The defensive line set the tone with their physicality and didn’t let up until the game was over. I haven’t seen the defensive line play this physical in years, and if this continues Atlanta will be scary.
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Ito Smith Time?
The second thing I took away from Sunday night victory was Ito Smith needs more touches. Smith out rushed the former pro bowler Devonta Freeman for the second straight week. Freeman has done absolutely nothing this season, and I think Ito Smith needs to see more playing time. Smith carried the ball four times for 32 yards Sunday, that’s 8.0 yards a carry. Freeman carried the ball 11 times for only 22 yards that’s 2.0 yards per carry. That type of production from your starting running back won’t cut it in today’s NFL. Freeman has 41 yards rushing this season in two games, and yes I understand he’s coming back from an injury but this is unacceptable. Freeman is doing way too much dancing and not going North and South. If he continues to play like this, it won’t be long before Ito Smith is starting.
The Last thing I noticed in the Falcons victory was that Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen, and Deion Jones are all healthy again. These three players combined for 18 tackles and a ton of splash plays that they desperately lacked in their absence. Neal was on Zach Ertz the whole game and really limited him. I was really impressed with how well Neal looked moving laterally, he looks 100% healthy. The Falcons really missed Ricardo Allen’s IQ last season in the secondary. Having Allen back and fully healthy is huge. Deion Jones is the heart and soul of the defense. Having him back in the fold just gives all the other guys confidence. Deion Jones has the potential to be the best linebacker in the National Football League. With him back in the center of the defense that changes everything.