With the Arizona Cardinals on the bye this week, I had a chance to pay more attention to everyone else, including the Atlanta Falcons, who are the Cards opponent next week. The Falcons lost their first game of the season today to the New Orleans Saints 31-27. Now, the Saints seem to be turning their season around somewhat, however, the Falcons have dodged several bullets in previous weeks. Nevertheless, it will be a Falcons team looking to re-focus back to winning. That being said, today shows they are beatable, even by the Cards.
The Cards might be able to move the ball a little bit next week and that is saying something given the fact the Cards haven’t moved it much over the past month, although they looked good at times last week in Green Bay. The Falcons offense though may be the most balanced in the NFL. Once again they proved that today, even in a loss.
The Falcons have few holes on offense. They have a rushing attack with Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, a great tight end in Tony Gonzalez, great receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White, and one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Matt Ryan. However, you can get the Falcons to turn it over. The problem is turning mistakes into points.
The Saints were able to throw the ball and run the ball on the Falcons today. The Falcons missed a lot of tackles. Cards running back LaRod Stephens-Howling could create problems for the Falcons. The Cards can’t get away from running if they aren’t behind by two or more touchdowns. Stick to a balanced attack until you absolutely have to abandon ship.
History is not on the Cards side though. They have not historically played well in the Georgia Dome. So, we’ll see. They also need to avoid injury. Hopefully they can get some guys back, particularly tight end Todd Heap, for next weeks game. I’m looking forward to it.