The Falcons are riding high following a critical win over the Bucs. It was ugly, but the score was not indicative of how dominant Atlanta looked on the road against a formidable division rival. The Falcons are now in the driver’s seat in the NFC South. They sit in sole possession of first place and are 2-0 against divisional foes.
The Falcons also have a fantastic opportunity ahead of them to move to 5-3. The Titans have been piss poor this season and are likely to be without their starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. For a defense as good as Atlanta’s, it’s a dream scenario.
Beyond that, the Titans will also be without one of their best defensive players, as safety Kevin Byard was traded to the Eagles.
The Eagles are acquiring safety Kevin Byard in a trade with the Tennessee Titans, a source confirmed to ESPN.
— ESPN (@espn) October 23, 2023
Byard is a veteran ballhawk that has been one of the best safeties in the game for a long time. Avoiding him in this matchup is a huge break for the Falcons and Desmond Ridder.
It’s evident the Titans are beginning to look past this year, as this could be the first of multiple key pieces they ship out before the trade deadline. Perhaps some of that action continues before their Week 8 matchup with the Falcons, making life even easier for Arthur Smith’s squad.
However, Mike Vrabel is a no nonsense coach that knows how to get his players ready every Sunday. Over his tenure in Tennessee, the Titans have been one of the best teams when considered underdogs, which they will be this weekend against the Falcons.
Atlanta’s a good team, but they aren’t talented enough to look past anybody. It will take a complete effort for them to earn their second straight victory on the road. Protecting the ball will be critical, but it will be much easier without the presence of Kevin Byard on the backend, who has the third most interceptions in football since 2016 with 27.
Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire