Where This Meets That
Quick post today, because, although the Falcons had a great game on paper, I’m not sure how much stock you can really put into that performance against the Colts.
I can’t help but feel for both Peyton Manning and his team. You know it kills the guy to be there on the sidelines watching what’s happened to the Colts. As I understand his ailment, there’s nothing sure about any prognosis. I only hope and pray that he does return to playing form before his career as a whole is over; he’s been great for football, and it would be a shame to go out the way it has so far.
As for the Falcons, most exciting was the way Julio Jones returned to the lineup, touching the ball five times for 164 total yards and two touchdowns. Rookie Jaquizz Rodgers had an impressive day running the ball, too. He’s looking a bit like Warrick Dunn but maybe a little more eager for contact. The rest of the offense was steady, not stellar.
Defensively, the Falcons looked superb against a pitiful Colts offense. Weatherspoon, Lofton, and Peters continue to shine and are blossoming into a tough young core for the front seven.
Week 10 brings the Saints to Atlanta. The importance of this game can not be overstated. The Falcons have won three straight, and the Saints have been on a roller coaster for the past three weeks, pounding the Colts then losing to the hapless Rams before tying up the series with the Bucs yesterday.
Speaking of the Bucs, yesterday’s showing was potentially disastrous, with tempers flaring internally. If they don’t get their frustrations under control, their season could be well on its way off the tracks in a hurry.
Back to next week’s game against the Saints . . . here are the Falcons’ keys to winning:
– Pound the ball with Turner, Snelling, and Rodgers to open up receivers downfield. Could be a break-through game for Rodgers if they can find a Darren Sproles-type groove for him.
– Speaking of Sproles, defensive key #1 is to stop him. Draws and misdirection plays continue to trouble the Falcons up front. Contain Sproles and make Brees win the game by himself. Not that he can’t, but make him do it.
– The Falcons traditionally do fairly well against Brees, tricking him into uncharacteristic mistakes. This is where Grimes needs to finish the play. He’s dropped a couple easy picks this season; he can’t drop any opportunities from Brees.