Entering Enemy Territory: Questions About The Falcons


Here is the other half of the Q and A with Jamie from BloggingDirty.com

1. The Falcons made a bold move during the draft to move up and grab Julio Jones.  Has he been what you expected and how good can he be?

Absolutely yes! In a injury plagued season, where he has missed 3 or 4 games, he has finished with just under 1000 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns, which is not bad at all for a rookie. I truly believe he can become the best receiver in the league, he has all the physical ability you could ever want from a receiver and more importantly he has a great work ethic and will continue to work, to be the best at his position.

2. What are the greatest strengths of the Falcons?

I will mention two things. Firstly the balance on offense, when the falcons are able to run the ball, the offense is very difficult to stop as Matt Ryan is no slouch. Defensively, our linebackers have been a real strength this year. Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton particularly have been singled out for praise. Jon Gruden on MNF a few weeks ago likened them too Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher in their hay day.

3. What is the most glaring weakness of the Falcons?

Pass rush. While John Abraham is still a dominating force, the Falcons struggle to get pressure from elsewhere without blitzing. The Falcons have struggled this year when the opposing QB has all day to throw (look at the Saints game in week 16). Keeping Eli under pressure will be key if the Falcons are to win the game.

4. The Giants have 48 sacks this year, and are as healthy as can be on the defensive front, what is the state of your offensive line?

They are not great by any stretch of the imagination, but are doing an adequate job. In pass protection, they have been a bit inconsistent, but generally do a good job of protecting Matt Ryan, unless the play breaks down and that is when the Falcons are in trouble.

5.  Mike Smith seems to be a very aggressive coach, is this a true statement and do you think he will have to adjust his thinking in the playoffs?

Yes he is, and i think he will remain so. It is his style and the players love that from him so I don’t expect that to change. He may be slightly less cautious than he previously did as the backlash from the 4th down call in OT against the Saints in week 10, has effected him to a degree.

6. Predictions on how the game will go?

I am expecting/ hoping the Falcons will have early success in the running game. If that is the case the Falcons should be able to control the tempo and negate the Giants pass rush to a degree by pounding the rock. If this happens, the Falcons should win.