The Falcons offense successfully moved the ball efficiently in the first two drives of the season opener against the Eagles, but both series stalled in the red zone, forcing Atlanta to settle for field goals. A balanced attack from Arthur Smith and Matt Ryan kept the Eagles defensive front on their heels. Mike Davis and Cordarrelle had success running, specifically behind the right side of the line of scrimmage.
5 10+ yard runs
57% success rate
— Matt Karoly (@mattkaroly) September 15, 2021
Atlanta’s offense didn’t have much success after those first two drives, but that hasn’t discouraged the Falcons’ quarterback as he described to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“… I think when I look back at the last game and what we need to do moving forward, I think it comes down to detail, of staying disciplined in what we’re coached to do and just going out there and executing the way that we’re capable of because when we do I think we’re capable of moving the ball efficiently. That’s what we’re going to harp on this week and that’s what I’m going to harp on is the detail and making sure that we’re as disciplined and detailed as possible.”
Ryan is truthful in that when the offense was able to execute, they can be efficient. The Eagles were on their heels guessing because of the threatening run game and play action pass game. It is encouraging to see the cohesiveness of the team is still there even after such an embarrassing loss, so I expect the Falcons offensive line to come out and prove a point against a stout Buccaneers defense.
Tampa’s front seven is by far the best in the league, so establishing the run will be difficult. Smith’s offense is predicated on just that, so I don’t expect the game to be close or the Falcons to have as much success against the Bucs defense on the ground as they did against Philly. Matt Ryan knows the task at hand better than any…
“I think they’re really a good front seven, a defensive line that’s strong on the inside, they’ve got talented edge rushers, good edge setters in the run game, two athletic linebackers, guys we’ve played against a lot in the past. We know how talented and how good of players they are and they’ve had some injuries in the secondary, but they’re guys we have gone against and know what they’re capable of as well. So I think it’s a defense that is playing with a lot of confidence, and it’s going to require us to go out down there and play really well.”