It’s week two of the NFL season! The Atlanta Falcons are 1-0, after storming by the Kansas City Chiefs. I predicted a shootout last week and got exactly what I was looking for. This week, on The Friday Blitz, I want to talk Monday Night Football and address a few concerns.
The Denver Broncos come to town this Monday. The Dome without a doubt will be rocking as we host the prodigal son, Peyton Manning. He is coming off of a two TD, 253 yard performance. The Falcons will be tested this week in the air. This brings me to my first concern, the secondary. Last week, Atlanta got torched by Matt Cassel, and to make matters worse Brent Grimes was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. I am a huge #TeamGrimey supporter and was devastated by this injury. The Falcons will have to shuffle Dunta Robinson back to the perimeter in his absence. I watched multiple plays last week where our defense just did not look like they knew their assignments. Twitter blew up with jokes about Van Gorder coaching the team and shots were fired at Mike Nolan.
Fortunately, the offense is every bit as explosive as advertised. This week, Atlanta will need to find a way to limit Peyton’s options, and the best way to do that is a pass rush. I know…I know… Atlanta hasn’t had one for years excluding John Abraham, but Monday Night it better show up. I’m also curious to see Owens and Franks step up into the nickel role this week. We all know that Christopher Owens can throw a punch, but can he lock down the slot?
Another interesting matchup is the Falcons offensive line versus the dynamic pass rush of the Broncos. Von Miller is a special talent, but Sam Baker did look good last week (holding breath). The Falcons will have to stop the run game and force Peyton to throw in tight spaces. The matchups are split, I like the Falcons offense but the Denver defense is much more threatening. They say defense wins championships, but without Skip Bayless’s son TimTebow on the sidelines, I think Atlanta may be in good shape.
Matt Ryan looks primed to have an outstanding season. He was a surgeon last week, throwing for three touchdowns and even running one in on a draw. Matty Ice wants to be ELITE, but knows the only way to reach that level is winning playoff games. Julio Jones continued his climb to superstardom, catching six passes for two touchdowns and 108 yards. I also found it interesting that JacQuizz Rodgers had so many snaps. This furthers the belief that Turner is being phased out.
Matt Ryan at home is too tough a bet to go against. Both teams are going to throw the ball down the field. I see yet another week of lackluster defensive play causing another shootout. The spread is -3 Atlanta, and I think that is a fair assessment. 27-24 Falcons roll to 2-0. As always let me know your feedback on here or on Twitter @ColossalChicken.