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NFL Arizona CardinalsAtlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons’ Offense Needs to Utilize Tight Ends in Week 8

Tony Gonzalez

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons will travel out west to take on the Arizona Cardinals for Week 8 on Oct. 27. The Falcons are going for their second win in a row, and although the Cardinals seem to be struggling at 3-4, the Falcons still have to face a seventh ranked run defense and deal with former Falcon John Abraham, who’s now converted to the linebacker position. Since the Falcons are already established as a pass heavy offense, they need to direct their attention on one area against the Cardinals’ pass defense: The tight end position.

For all you fantasy owners currently owning Tony Gonzalez, this week is a good time to start him. Even though Gonzalez only recorded two catches for 30 yards in Week 7, this week should be a good showing for Atlanta tight ends. The Cardinals currently rank 19th against opponents in the passing game, allowing an average of 252 yards per game. But what is even better is that Arizona can’t seem to figure out how to handle tight ends this year. Opposing tight ends have scored a total of seven touchdowns against the Cardinals defense in 2013. New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham even had nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3.

After last week’s performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is clear the Falcons will be focusing on utilizing the passing game. wide receiver Harry Douglas seems to be handling the workload just fine without Roddy White and Julio Jones. Even though Steven Jackson is expected to play on Sunday, it is still unclear on how productive he will be  against a Cardinals’ run defense that has only allowed an average of 97 yards this season. However, if all of the attention will be directed towards Gonzalez, that could also give Atlanta some more opportunities for one-on-one match ups on the outside. If Jackson can be close to 100 percent as well, his explosiveness will give the the Falcons’ offense some good screen opportunities and give quarterback Matt Ryan some breathing room. Look for Atlanta to have a field day through the air against the Cardinals in Week 8.

Sarah Woodall is an Atlanta Falcons writer for Rantsports.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWoodallRS, or add her to your network on Google.

The Falcons will need to utilize Gonzalez if they are to put together back to back wins for the first time this season. Watch the action live by purchasing your Falcons Tickets now.