5 Players Who Will Shine For The Atlanta Falcons in Week 2
5 Players Who Will Shine Brightly in Week 2 For The Atlanta Falcons
After a tough 23-17 loss last Sunday to the New Orleans Saints on the road, the Atlanta Falcons will get the chance to play their Week 2 game in the Georgia Dome come Sunday versus the St. Louis Rams.
The Saints showed that they can be a powerhouse again with the return of Sean Payton as head coach, and the new addition of Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator. On the other hand, the Falcons got a glimpse of how good New Orleans can be as rivals in the NFC South.
Atlanta will try to move past the disappointment of opening the NFL regular season with a loss. This, after the Falcons finished 13-3 overall last season with home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Unfortunately, the Dirty Birds have lost two-straight games dating back to January when they lost 28-24 in the NFC Championship game to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Falcons can't do anything else but move on as well as move forward towards another great season. In my estimation, Atlanta will eventually prove to be the best team in the NFC and advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. This team reminds me of the 1998 Denver Broncos who went 14-2 and won back-to-back World Championships, taking Super Bowl XXXIII to guess who? Yes, the Falcons.
The similarities between the 1998 Broncos and the 2013 Falcons are most certifiably recognized on offense. Much like the Broncos in the late 90s, Atlanta has a great quarterback much like Hall of Famer John Elway. They have the ability to run the ball with ease, as did Denver with the incomprobable Terrell Davis. In addition, the Dirty Birds have the weapons downfield that the Broncos possessed with incredible wide receivers and a future Hall of Fame tight end. In 1998, the Broncos had the best deep threat in the league with Rod Smith, and the best tight end in the league with Shannon Sharpe.
Not only does Atlanta have the similar offensive weapons that Denver had in 1998, they have the same type of bend but don't break defensive mentality. If the Falcons offense can score early and often, they have a good defensive line as well as secondary that can slow opposing offenses when these teams will have no choice but to throw the football in order to get back into the game.
I believe the Falcons will get their swagger back in Week 2 versus the Rams at home in the Georgia Dome. These five players will shine brightly for Atlanta on Sunday, and key their run at Super Bowl XLVIII.
5.) Tony Gonzalez
Entering his 17th season in the NFL, Tony Gonzalez is now 37 years old. This will be the final season for the All-Pro and future Hall of Fame tight end. He did have one touchdown catch in Week 1 against the Saints, however, he caught only three passes for a total of 36 yards. To open up the outside for White and Jones, Gonzalez will work the middle of the field for the Falcons come Sunday.
4.) Julio Jones
Julio Jones is a beast at wide receiver for the Falcons, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 220 pounds. Mr. Jones did have seven catches against the Saints for 76 yards and one touchdown, but he has the ability to get 10-plus catches and 100-plus yards every single game he plays. Look for Jones to abuse the Rams' secondary on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.
3.) Steven Jackson
In Week 2, Steven Jackson will get his chance to prove that St. Louis made a monumental mistake letting him go in the offseason. Jackson had 11 carries for 77 yards in his debut for the Falcons, and he was targeted eight times through the air. Expect more from the workhorse versus his former mates on Sunday.
2.) Roddy White
Roddy White only had two catches for 19 yards against the Saints on Sunday. With Gonzalez and Jackson controlling the middle of the field versus the Rams, Mr. White should be his usual self on the outside with around 10 catches and 120-plus yards. Don't expect this lethal weapon to have another poor performance the rest of the season.
1.) Matt Ryan
In my opinion, Matt Ryan is one of the top-five quarterbacks in the league today. He did throw for 304 and two touchdowns on Sunday, however, these numbers will be more prominent against the Rams. Look for Matty Ice to dissect the St. Louis defense in Atlanta.