Atlanta Falcons Must Protect Matt Ryan Against St. Louis Rams

By Michael Terrill
Atlanta Falcons Must Protect Matt Ryan Against St. Louis Rams
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams will be no walk in the park in Week 2, which is why the Atlanta Falcons must execute in all four quarters if they want to avoid a 0-2 start to the season. One area the Falcons must succeed in is keeping quarterback Matt Ryan upright against a talented pass rush.

“Their defensive scheme is very similar to what Jeff (Fisher) did in Tennessee, very familiar with it,” head coach Mike Smith said, according to “Similar to what they do in Detroit. They want to run those defensive ends off the ball. They want to rush the passer and play the run on the way to the passer. That’s kind of the mentality.”

The New Orleans Saints dropped Ryan three times for 25 yards. Meanwhile, the Rams sacked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer four times, which certainly helped propel them to their 27-24 victory in Week 1.

Arizona still has problems on their offensive line after allowing the most sacks in 2012, but that does not mean St. Louis will not be able to get after Ryan. Defensive end Robert Quinn will certainly be someone the Falcons must keep their eyes on. The 23-year-old recorded 10.5 sacks last season and managed to get Palmer down three times last weekend. There is no question his motor will never stop on Sunday as he is determined to set a career high in sacks this season.

Do not expect St. Louis to show complicated blitz schemes because that really is not who they are. Their front four are talented enough to get to the quarterback on their own. That means the Falcons must be able to protect Ryan without using any help from tight ends or running backs in order to open up the field.

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