Broncos V. Falcons Preview

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If you knew where I lived, I’m sure I’d get eggs thrown at my window for what I’m about to say. Maybe even a nice little bag of dog poo lit in flames sitting on my doorstep. I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t think the Broncos will win in Atlanta. I hope I’m wrong, and I hope you, my readers, get the chance to leave comments saying what a dumb ass I am. I really do hope that happens, but I don’t think my beloved Broncos can win in Atlanta. If the game was in Denver and there were a few less injuries, I’d be singing a different tune. The Broncos visit a team that went 4-12 last season, saw Michael Vick get arrested, and had their coach, Bobby Petrino, quit on them in the middle of the season to take a job at Arkansas. Look at them now standing 6-3 with Matty “Ice” Ryan staying as cool as can be leading the offense to victory. This team is not the joke of the south anymore. Last week, the Falcons beat the Saints by 14 points. They have won their last four of five games and they are 4-0 at home this year. The Broncos are 7-4 all time against the Falcons which includes a Super Bowl victory in 98′. I hope I’m wrong, but My Prediction: Falcons 28 Broncos 23. 

Offense

Broncos – It’s funny what a sense of urgency will do to the Broncos offense. Lose three in a row, and then fire off 564 yards of offensive firepower on the road against the Browns. We know you guys like to toy with our hearts. We’ve seen your potential at the beginning of the season and then again last week. Just give it to us on a consistent basis. Eddie Royal has been Jay Cutler’s favorite target as of late, and Brandon Marshall is still racking up some big numbers. The running game is obviously hurting, but signing Tatum Bell should help that area a bit. The team just needs to show sparks of a running game anyway to open up the field for Cutler and crew. I cannot brag enough about what a tremendous job our offensive line is doing. They’ve allowed just 5 sacks all year, and that includes a game against league sack leader, Joey Porter. The line will face another challenge this week as they try to stop John Abraham (3rd in sacks). He’s got 11 sacks on the year, and the rest of the team has just 6. So, you stop him, you stop the Falcons.               

Falcons- Remind me who Michael Vick is again. Oh, that dog hating dude who once made the Birds a compitative team. Forget about him. The team’s got Matt Ryan dishing the ball to Roddy White and Michael Jenkins. White is 2nd in the league in receiving yards and Jenkins is 12th in receiving average. Throw in Michael Turner making this team 2nd in rushing production, and that’s how you convert a 4-12 team to a 6-3 team. This offense can create some real problems for a team like the Broncos who has had trouble stopping the run all year. With dual threats in the air and on the ground, the Falcons will look to a balance their offense. This team is known for a big air game as they have 6 pass plays of 40 yards or more. The Broncos secondary will have their hands full on Sunday. 

Defense

Broncos – It’s ugly anyway you want to look at it. They’re in the bottom ten teams in pass and run defense. However, they did come up with some big plays in the fourth quarter against Cleveland. Last week they made Brady Quinn look like a seasoned vet, but if they can apply more pressure to Ryan, then this defense can throw the Birds for a loop. The team’s three starting linebackers (Boss Bailey, D.J. Williams, Nate Webster) are out so someone needs to take a leadership role on defense. Last week Jamie Winborn played an excellent game making almost every tackle in the first half. He seemed to be the one getting other guys fired up. It would help is guys in the secondary could get an interception. Karl Paymah is the only active guy back there that has one this season (Champ also has one). If this unit can get three and outs, and give the offense plenty of chances to get on the field, then the Broncos do have a shot.  

Falcons – The defense did its job last week causing Drew Brees to throw three interceptions and knocking down 15 passes. Atlanta’s defense is 9th in the league because of guys like John Abraham and Erik Coleman (3 INTs, 44 tackles). When you’ve got guys making big plays to stop the run and air game, then success seems to find you. Hmmm…what a concept. Jay Cutler will definitely need to watch the turnovers here. Again, if he throws more than 1 INT, the Broncos don’t have a chance. The Falcons offense is just too good to give the ball back to. Former Broncos cornerback Domonique Foxworth will look to pick off his old teammates and could provide some good tips to the rest of his teammates as far as coverage goes. This team is scary because of its defense.  

Special Teams  

Broncos – It’s a head to head contest. Matt Prater vs. Jason Elam. Prater is 16 for 19 on the season and he misses a field goal last week. The return game has the potential to be a threat with Eddie Royal back there, but it was just average last week. Kickoff coverage has got to be more than average against the Falcons as they are 6th in the league in returns. 

Falcons- Jason Elam will probably hit all of his field goals and if the game comes down to the wire with Elam’s foot in the spotlight, the Broncos could feel what other teams have felt for the 15 years that he was a Bronco. Defeat by the 3 point play.

Coaching

Broncos – Mike Shanahan has his team back on track, but keeping them there could be another story. He goes up against a rookie coach, so look for Shanahan to have a few tricks up his sleeve. He should favor the passing game from the start with a lot of short drop off passes to Peyton Hillis.  

Falcons – Mike Smith is exceeding expectation. He’s dispelling the myth that a rebuilding team is supposed to take time. He’s leading a rookie QB in a city that was so down on their team last year, that Hot-lanta suddenly became Fault-lanta. They make it to the playoffs, and he’s a good candidate for coach of the year.

 

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Boss Bailey Brady Quinn Brandon Marshall Champ Bailey D.j. Williams Denver Broncos Domonique Foxworth Drew Brees Eddie Royal Erik Coleman Jamie Winborn Jason Elam Jay Cutler Joey Porter John Abraham Karl Paymah Matt Prater Matt Ryan Michael Turner Michael Jenkins Michael Vick Bobby Petrino Mike Shanahan Mike Smith Natre Webster Peyton Hillis Roddy White Tatum Bell

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