The Atlanta Falcons are 1 of 7 currently undefeated football teams in the NFL. (Bengals, Broncos, Cardinals, Packers, Panthers, and Patriots) The Houston Texans are coming off of their 1st win of the season against the 1-2 Buccaneers. The Texans first two losses were to the Chiefs and the Panthers and they are averaging less than 20 pts. per game. Arian Foster missed all 3 games with a groin injury but practiced all week. He’s a game day call but should be ready for Sunday will be a big boost in their offensive production.
The biggest challenge for Falcons will be blocking both Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. In the Bucs’ game they both looked extremely strong against the run and pass rushing. The piecemeal Falcons line has not played together long enough to withstand that kind of relentless pressure. Combine that with Texans stop the run first defense and it likely will prove too much for Falcons talented but inexperienced running backs and cancel any effectiveness from the run game.
That spells bad news when the defense can focus on pressuring Matt Ryan. He is much more effective when there is at least the threat of a run game. Julio Jones has shown that he can carry the offense and basically bailed out the Falcons against both the Giants and Cowboys. So expect guru defensive coach, Romeo Crennel, to attempt to double team and take Julio out of the game. That leaves Roddy White to try to step up, but he may have lost a step when the need for to get rid of the ball quickly will be at a premium.
Equally problematic for the Falcons is their passing game is predicated on using the size and strength of White and Jones to gain yards by running short to mid-range routes. Jones has the speed to run the longer routes but Ryan doesn’t have the arm strength to accurately reach him consistently.
Advantage Falcons playing at home but the game isn’t played in the stands. Have fun tailgating but expect Falcons 1st loss of the season.
by ALL STAR STEVE