Two days after the Denver Broncos came away with what I’ll call a good win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they now face an even tougher opponent in the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Broncos showed some good strengths such as the offensive line and stopping the run game on Sunday, but there are areas which they need to improve quickly.
Atlanta comes off a solid performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in which they won 40-24. Matt Ryan passed for 299yds, had 3TDs, and ran for another, but the run game itself was nonexistent. The unbalanced attack of the Falcons needs to be looked at this week as they face the Broncos. The two areas that the Broncos are stronger than the Chiefs is clearly in the pass rush and stopping the run. If the Broncos can keep pressure on Ryan the whole game as they did against Ben Roethlisberger, then the vaunted Falcons passing attack may wither.
Another area to watch is the CB position for the Falcons, who saw Brett Grimes leave the game with a calf injury. The Broncos have better WR options than the Chiefs did and this is the position battle that Peyton Manning will exploit as he runs the no-huddle and spreads the field with two TE sets and the duo of Salt and Pepper, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
Pittsburgh was able to exploit the LBs for the Broncos all evening with TE Heath Miller and I fully expect to see Tony Gonzalez have his share of catches. This should be a fairly close game that may actually come down to the kickers, Matt Prater and Matt Bryant, and that edge goes to the Broncos. I look for the timing to improve some more with Manning and his targets, but I believe it might have to be left to Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno to gain the field position to allow Prater to win the game.
BroncoRants Prediction: Denver 24 Atlanta 21
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