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Falcons Injuries Taking Toll on Offense

Just a month and a half ago, the Atlanta Falcons were picked to win the NFC South and battle for the NFC Championship. Fast forward six weeks and the Falcons are near the bottom of the heap in the NFC South with a long way to go to return to their status of NFC South Champions.

It is hard to believe anyone could have predicted a 1-4 start by the Falcons. However, the season is not lost, as they have 11 games left and an opportunity to battle back. While a division crown might not be in the cards this season, a wildcard spot is not an impossibility.

However, things will not be easy going forward. The Falcons turned into a pass happy team during last season and to start this season. That is fine, but causes problems when two of the team’s top three receivers go down with injuries.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has improved statistically each season since 2009. Last season he threw for over 4,718 yards with 32 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

He will be hard pressed to reach those stats this season. Ryan’s number one receiver, Julio Jones, suffered a foot injury against New York in week 5 and is lost for the rest of the season.

Jones was leading the league in receptions after week 5 with 41. His loss will be devastating to the Falcons offense and to Ryan. Last season Jones accounted for 18% of Ryan’s completions, 25.3% of Ryan’s passing yardage and 31% of his touchdown passes. Try replacing that overnight.

Ryan will be tested without Jones and the Falcons will be able see just how talented of a quarterback he is and how he adapts to the situation.

There are reports that Roddy White the other starting wide receiver for Atlanta might miss a game or two as well with a pulled hamstring.

Tony Gonzalez is quickly becoming the only reliable target for Ryan. However, defenses will be able to shut him down quicker than Jones or White since they have speed and can stretch the field.

Defensively, the Falcons were good last season, but have started poor over their first five games of this season.

The Falcons have allowed more points per each opposing team’s drive than another other team in the NFL.

The secondary has played dreadfully poor, allowing an average quarterback rating for opposing quarterbacks of 108.

The Falcons might have 11 games left on the regular season roster, but they must play each one going forward as if it was their last. They cannot afford many more losses if they hope to reach the postseason.

The odds are stacked against Atlanta with their injuries on offense and poor defensive play, but they still have plenty of time to recover.

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