Last Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons showed their deep levels of resolve and grit as they overcame a 17-3 halftime deficit to the Seattle Seahawks. They scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and nearly sprung the upset. Everyone remembers how that game ended. Everyone knows the Green Bay Packers will visit the Georgia Dome next Sunday. The fans have that date circled on the calendar! However, the San Diego Chargers will pay the Falcons a visit this Sunday at 4:05pm! This cannot be a trap game, or will it? With that in mind, let’s dive into this week’s Four Keys for a Dirty Birds victory.
First, the San Diego Chargers come into Week 7 action with the 3rd best offense in the National Football League. Quarterback Philip Rivers has 1,647 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has done a great job taking care of the ball. His QB rating is 105.9. However, the Chargers are 27th in Red Zone scoring efficiency. They move the ball from 20-to-20 with the best of them. The Falcons’ defense is the definition of “bend-don’t-break” and I think if they are able to force turnovers and prevent Rivers from having a clean pocket the Falcons will be fine.
Secondly, the Falcons offense has to run the ball more effectively. Last week against the Seahawks, the Falcons tallied 50 rushing yards between running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Granted, the score had a role to play in those statistics as the Falcons were forced to play catch-up. However, winning down and distance early in the game will set the tone for the Falcons offense.
Thirdly, the Falcons defense cannot let Melvin Gordon get busy. In their two wins, Gordon had 102 yards against Jacksonville and 94 yards against the Broncos. If he gets off, the Chargers offense will be that much harder to stop due to the increased threat of play action.
Lastly, Chargers safety Jahleel Addae (collarbone), linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (ankle) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (concussion) will not play Sunday.
Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and cornerback C.J. Goodwin have been ruled out with a concussion and hamstring injuries respectively for the Atlanta Falcons.
The San Diego Chargers face off against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome this Sunday. Kickoff will be 4:05pm EDT. Sam Rosen, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin will provide the play-by-play, color commentary and sideline reporting on FOX. Bill Vinovich’s crew will officiate the game.