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Matt Ryan during the first half of the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game against the New York Giants. (Jim O./US PRESSWIRE)

Looking Ahead To Week 2: Broncos at Falcons


Now that the Denver Broncos schedule has been released, we are going to take a game-by-game look at the regular season that the Broncos have in front of them.

The Denver Broncos first road game of the season makes it their second prime time appearance in two weeks. They travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in their first Monday Night game of the season. The Falcons ended their 2011 campaign 10-6, and they lost to the New York Giants in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

The last time these two teams met was in November 2008. The Broncos went on the road and defeated the Falcons 24-20. The Falcons’ Big Three were on the roster, but for the Broncos, it was a group led by Jay Cutler and Peyton Hillis.

On offense, the Falcons have a great amount of scoring potential. With Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White, there’s a lot of ground for any defense to cover. In 2011, they were 7th in scoring (17th in rushing, 8th in passing).

The Falcons have much room to improve on defense. They gave up 21.9 points per game and were ranked 6th in rush defense and 20th in pass defense. Big John Abraham provides the pressure up front and Thomas DeCoud waits for his prey in the secondary.

The Falcons have made quite a few moves (and non-moves) in the offseason so far. They re-signed their leading tackler, Curtis Lofton, and their leading cornerback, Thomas DeCoud, to new deals. They also re-signed their leading sack man, John Abraham, to a 3-year deal woth $16 million. The Falcons re-signed Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez for the 2012 season as well. In free agency, they picked up OG Vince Manuwai and LB Lofa Tatupu who will have the chance to compete for starting roles.

Early Prediction: Falcons – 21 Broncos – 20. After a hard-fought game against the Steelers the week before, it will be a big challenge for the Broncos to rise up again and beat a very good Falcons team on the road.

Falcons Leaders in 2011:

Matt Ryan – 347-for-566 (61.3%), 4,177 passing yards, 29 TDs, 12 INTs. 

Michael Turner – 1,340 yards (83.8 per game), 11 TDs, 3 Fumble

Roddy White – 100 receptions, 1,296 yards, 8 TDs

Curtis Lofton – 147 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT

Thomas DeCoud – 4 INTs, 86 tackles

John Abraham – 9.5 sacks

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Denver Broncos Matt Ryan Peyton Manning Roddy White