Falcons at Texans: 3 Keys to the game

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The Atlanta Falcons Pass Rush

The Falcons defense is near the top of the league in pass defense, allowing 215 yards per contest, but anybody who has watched this team knows that is nothing but fool’s gold. The Atlanta secondary has been below average, and the pass rush usually is non-existent. The Falcons only have five sacks the entire year, which is tied for the second-worst mark in the league. The Texans are known for handing sacks out like candy. Watson has already been walloped 18 times this season. A lot of that has to do with how long he holds onto the ball, but this Houston offensive line has some severe holes as well. If the Falcons cannot pressure Watson or force the ball out of his hands; it’s going to be a miserable day for Atlanta’s defense.

Get this offense back on track

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s passing offense ranks second in the league in yards per game – behind only the Chiefs. But like their pass defense, anybody who is watching this team knows those are nothing more than meaningless stats. Most of Matt Ryan’s yardage has been picked up in garbage time or when the team is trailing by multiple scores. This Atlanta offense is one of the worst in the league, averaging 17.5 points per contest, which is absurd when considering all the talent on the field. Dirk Koetter has completely failed in his first four games as the offensive coordinator. It is genuinely embarrassing at this point. Something has to change and fast. How in the hell are the Cardinals scoring more points per game than the Falcons? How are Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu putting up similar production to the Broncos, Bears, and Redskins? I think it’s safe to admit: Steve Sarkisian was a scapegoat for many of the Falcons problems.

Don’t let DeAndre Hopkins beat you

The Texans star receiver is off to a slow start. That’s likely because opposing defensive coordinators are keying in on him week in and week out. However, the Falcons love to let opponents’ star players beat them. They allowed Dalvin Cook to run all over them in Week 1. Thankfully, most of the Eagles’ primary offensive weapons were missing in Week 2, but Nelson Agholor still had a field day on Atlanta’s defense. Week 3 belonged to T.Y. Hilton, who the Falcons refused to shadow with Desmond Trufant. As a result, Hilton caught eight passes and a touchdown while being hobbled by injury for most of the game. The Titans don’t have many stars, but everybody on their offense ate last week. Hopkins is due, and if the Falcons don’t make a concerted effort to taking him out of the gameplan, I have a feeling his breakout week may be around the corner.

 

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