STEVE SARKISIAN HAS FIGURED OUT THE FALCONS OFFENSE
As much as I want to believe the above statement to be true, I’m not sold just yet. I will give Steve Sarkisian credit for his play-calling on Sunday vs the Panthers, but we need to see that in multiple weeks before we start declaring that he’s “figured out” this offense.
Plus, with the expectations that are on the shoulders of this Falcons franchise in 2018, Sarkisian is going to need to have afternoons like this quite often.
That said, we’ll learn more about this when the Falcons battle against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.
ATLANTA NEEDS TO ROLL WITH COLEMAN INSTEAD OF FREEMAN
Again, I appreciate the excitement behind this thought process. Tevin Coleman looked fantastic on Sunday, helping spark the Falcons offense against a very tough Panthers defense. While Coleman did look like a starting NFL running back in Week 2, we can’t forget about everything Devonta Freeman brings to the table – toughness, physicality, and reliability.
Unfortunately, this type of running style has taken a toll on Freeman’s body over the last few years, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get healthy and have another great year. There have been multiple games that Atlanta wouldn’t have won without Freeman, just adding to the long list of reasons why he should still be the Falcons featured-back once healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, Coleman has become a phenomenal weapon for Atlanta, but I’m not willing to take him over Freeman. At the same time, I’m not willing to take Freeman without Coleman either. These two are one of the best running back duos in the NFL, which is why general manager, Thomas Dimitroff, needs to do everything possible to keep these two as teammates.
DUKE RILEY ISN’T READY
If we’re truly being honest with ourselves, Riley made one huge mistake against the Panthers on Sunday – missing the tackle on DJ Moore late in the fourth quarter. While that single play did result in a touchdown for Carolina, I’m not going to define Riley’s play in Week 2 by that one play. In his first opportunity to start at middle linebacker, he finished with nine total tackles, giving the Falcons offense multiple chances to get the football back and put the game away.
That said, Riley will have his toughest test of the year against the Saints offense in Week 3. If the Falcons do find a way to emerge victorious for the second time in 2018, we’ll be able to attribute a good part of that to Riley’s contributions on defense.