As well as the Falcons offense has played this season, they’ve yet to sustain a consistent rushing attack. Tevin Coleman has done his part to fill in for Devonta Freeman, but Atlanta’s offense is clearly different without Freeman, and I’m not sure it’s for the better. If the Falcons can move the football on the ground Thursday night, it’ll go a long way in helping them keep the Saints offense on the sideline. Needless to say, that would be huge.
I’m going to use the entire offensive-line for this “key player”. This was supposed to be one of the league’s strongest units heading into 2018, but thanks to a few key injuries, Atlanta’s O-line has been borderline awful. If they can’t give Matt Ryan time to throw the football on Thursday night, they’re going to get run out of the SuperDome.
The rookie from Alabama totally dominated the Saints defense back in Week Three; however, a costly drop against the Cowboys last week may have Ridley a little more focused than usual this week. It’s really hard to say one play determined the outcome of the game, but if Ridley had held onto the football late in the fourth quarter versus the Cowboys, the Dirty Birds could’ve been sitting at 5-5 right now. That being said, I fully expect a bounce-back performance from Ridley this week.
We recently found out that Deion Jones will not be playing in this Thanksgiving match-up versus the Saints, which means the pressure is solely on Foye Oluokun to try and fill the void. With Alvin Kamara looking more dangerous in the passing game each week, the former Yale graduate may be facing his biggest test yet.
Alford took a ton of heat last week for his poor play versus the Cowboys. In the team’s biggest game of the year, Alford couldn’t figure out how to shut down wide receiver Cole Beasley. Regardless, the Falcons need their veteran cornerback to be on his game this Thursday night.