Sunday at 4 pm these two struggling teams will meet in a very important game. The Falcons come into the game at 2-4 with an 0-2 road record. The Cardinals are 3-4 with a 2-1 home record. The Falcons have won one straight game while the Cardinals have dropped two in a row.
Roddy White will be out for the Falcons for the second straight week so that puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez. Douglas had a great game in the Falcons win last week and look for Matt Ryan to get him the ball early. Gonzalez will look to have a big game today as the Cardinals have struggled to cover opposing TEs this season.
Over the last two weeks, the Cardinals have struggled on third down converting just 10 of 28. The Falcons did a great job last week in stopping Tampa Bay on third downs, holding them to just 5 of 17. For the season, the Falcons defense is 30th in the league in 3rd down percentage allowing 45.8% opponent conversions. For the season, the Cards convert just 31.8%. Watch third downs today as they will be important to the outcome of the game. The Falcons need to keep their banged up defense off the field and keep the ball in the hands of Ryan and give him the chance to win the game.
On offense, the Falcons must have some balance. Matt Ryan is coming off of a great week but the Falcons have to find a way to run the football at least a little to keep the Cards defense honest. As of now, Steven Jackson is listed as probable. Jackson was the big offensive off-season acquisition and it's time that he came to play and bolstered the Falcons wildcard hopes. Jackson getting back in the game today is also important because Jason Snelling will not be playing.
In typical Falcons fashion, this one will likely come down to the last drive. The Falcons have scored 153 points this year and have had 157 points scored on them. Expect another game to come down to the wire as the Falcons try to win their first road game of the season.