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Atlanta returns to form against St. Louis but Issues Remain

All is well in Georgia. The Atlanta Falcons withstood a big challenge from the St. Louis Rams to win 31-24 to even their early season record at 1-1. The Falcons are one game behind the 2-0 New Orleans Saints and one game in front of the 0-2 Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After two games there are a number of things emerging about this Falcons team as they fight for the NFC South crown. The Falcons have adjustments to make, as does every team in the league and will have to do so if they hope to defeat Miami this coming Sunday. The Dolphins were 24-20 winners over the Indianapolis Colts this week.

Offensive Line

The Falcons offensive line allowed three sacks during their first game against the New Orleans Saints. This week against St. Louis Matt Ryan was sacked twice, but not as pressured as he was in game one against the Saints. Part of the problem is the lack of a running game allowing defenses to worry about just the pass and focus on just pressuring the quarterback.

Against Miami next week, the Falcons will be up against one of the better pass rushers in football in Cameron Wake.


Injuries are already becoming a big problem for Atlanta after just two games. This past Sunday, six starters were questionable for the Rams’ game and during the game more were added to the injury list.

The list of new injuries include: Steven Jackson his thigh, Bradie Ewing his shoulder, Cliff Matthews his neck, Sean Weatherspoon his foot, Asante Samuel his thigh and Kroy Beirmann his ankle. If this continues the Falcons will need an infirmary ward outside the locker room.

Julio Jones

Jones has been slowed at times with a sore knee that has limited him during practice, but on Sunday he had a great game and is becoming the good to guy for Matt Ryan. Jones caught 11 passes to lead the team on Sunday for 182 yards, with one touchdown. He had an 81-yard scoring reception where he beat Janoris Jenkins.

Roddy White has not had many snaps the past two weeks due to injury and has become more of a decoy on offense because of that. That has put more responsibility on Jones and he has responded in kind with two strong games.

Finish Off Opponents

The Falcons must, as they say, put the last nail in the coffin, against their opponents. This gripe has been around since the start of head coach Mike Smith’s tenure with the Falcons. A number of factors, including no running game and a limited pass rush along with injuries, have attributed this year to that problem. However, the problem remains that Atlanta just needs a more killer instinct against opponents.

If Jackson’s thigh injury is not serious, then he could be the player to help the Falcons finish off opponents by improving the team’s rushing attack.

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