Let’s talk some ball on this fine Sunday morning. Heck, let’s get crazy and talk with an Atlanta Falcons’ fan. Might as well get to know the state of the Falcons as the Philadelphia Eagles take them later this evening on Sunday Night Football.
With high expectations entering the season, the Falcons stumbled out of the gate on their way to a 28-12 Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The loss including sloppy special teams, bad quarterback play, bad line play, bad run defense, bad coverage... and I’m running out of boxes to check. But, one week does not a season make, right?
Still, there’s reason for concern if you’re a Falcons’ fan, as Jeanna Thomas of SBNation and The Falcoholic laid out in our discussion for Eye On the Enemy #2. Jeanna was very concerned about the offensive line, especially on the right side.
“The biggest issue with this team is the offensive line and if they can’t keep Matt Ryan upright and if they can’t create holes in the run game then I don’t know that they can win 10 games. I think that’s the big question, having lost their starting right guard - the rookie first rounder Chris Lindstrom - to IR with a broken foot after the Vikings game. And they’re kind of rotating guys in at right tackle, and so it’s a lot of instability on that side of the line which is not encouraging at all.
Chris Lindstrom is being replaced by Jamon Brown, who is not good at football. That might be a problem, especially when Fletcher Cox has already stolen his lunch money when he had a stint with the New York Giants.
I’m probably more concerned about this that I could possibly be about any other position group on the field. Especially rotating guys in. The reason they’re doing that at right tackle is because the other rookie first rounder Kaleb McGary had to undergo a minimally invasive heart procedure during the preseason. His conditioning isn’t quite where it needs to be and so he can’t play a full game.
But rotating somebody in really never lets them develop that chemistry or get in any kind of a rhythm. So that’s a huge concern for me, not just now, but for the rest of the season... It’s really that whole side of the line; it could be a really be a problem.”
Ty Sambrailo is the rotational fill-in for McGary when he steps out. In Week 1, Sambrailo gave up 3 pressures on 21 snaps, ranking 56th of 64 in Pro Football Focus’ pass blocking efficiency metric. The problems aren’t just with him though, as neither McGary nor left Jake Matthews landed in the top 50 in Week 1. Matthews, the supposed steady and solid veteran got shown all fifty states by Everson Griffen.
As Jimmy Kempski pointed out on BGN Radio #80, maybe this is the week Derek Barnett finally hits a sweet spin move for a sack. I first saw him try it as a sophomore in college and it wasn’t a pretty sight, but he’s continually worked on it throughout his young career.
Jim Schwartz on Derek Barnett: You have to have a countermove. He's working on an inside spin move.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) July 25, 2017
You can hear that discussion and more as we preview Eagles-Falcons with Jeanna Thomas on Eye On the Enemy #2! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! I mean, why wouldn’t you want to listen to the top team brand podcast feed in the world? FLY EAGLES FLY!