After a dreadful week one, the Falcons bounced back with a thrilling victory over a very talented Eagles squad. It could have been a lot more impressive too if Matt Ryan looked like the Matt Ryan we all know and love. He now has five picks on the season after only throwing seven in all of 2018. However, Ryan remains the last piece of this team I am worried about heading into a week three matchup on the road versus the Colts.
Falcons defensive front against the Colts offensive line
The NFL rushing leaders in order are Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley, then… Marlon Mack. The Colts did the smart thing and invested heavily in their offensive line, which looks even better now that Jacoby Brissett is their starting quarterback. There might not be a team better at using their ground game as a weapon than Indianapolis, and the Falcons did a phenomenal job on Sunday night against the Eagles rushing attack, holding them to 49 yards on 21 carries. However, we all remember how week one went in Minnesota when Dalvin Cook gashed Atlanta repeatedly. I think the week two version of the Falcons defense is what we can expect going forward, but they are going to have their hands full against the Colts’ offensive front.
Dan Quinn against AFC Teams
Over the previous two seasons, Dan Quinn has feasted on the NFC but been dismal when facing the AFC. The Falcons are 1-7 in their last eight cross-conference matchups with many of those losses coming to lesser teams or in blowout fashion. Atlanta was killed by the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns and lost at home to an underwhelming Bengals squad in 2018. Two years ago, they fell at home to the Dolphins and Bills. It is difficult to understand why this is – perhaps it is because most of Dan Quinn’s NFL coaching experience has come in the NFC – but it has become a trend rather than a coincidence.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Desmond Trufant
Hilton may not have the rapport that he had with Andrew Luck, but he and Jacoby Brissett have already hooked up for three touchdowns this season. To me, Hilton might be the most underrated receiver in the game and can beat opponents in so many different ways. The Falcons don’t normally have their corners shadow receivers. Desmond Trufant usually holds down the left side of the field with Isaiah Oliver locking down the right side, but this scenario could be different. Hilton is a legitimate #1 wide receiver, and Trufant is a #1 corner. The Colts don’t have many other receiving weapons that will strike fear into Atlanta’s defense. I’d like to see Trufant on Hilton as much as possible.