Will the game between the Jaguars and Falcons on Sunday be an exciting offensive affair or will it prove to be a contest like each team’s season – less than anticipated?
This isn’t how the season was supposed to go for either the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Atlanta Falcons. This was supposed to be a season where these two teams of the south challenged for a playoff berth. This was supposed to be a rebirth of sorts for two head coaches who have taken their fair share of criticism, especially this season.
Now, with both teams 5-9 and out of the playoff hunt, the NFL season changes from hope and excitement to finishing strong and belief change is on the way. Dan Quinn and Doug Marrone are on their own hot seats, with their teams trying to keep each leader in town for another season.
The staff here at Black and Teal had an opportunity to speak with Blodding Dirty, the website on FanSided.com for everything you want to know about the Atlanta Falcons. We thank them for their time, talking about the game today in Atlanta between the Jaguars and Falcons.
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Here’s what they had to say.
The Jaguars have had issues stopping the run this year. Do you expect the Falcons to become a more run-heavy team this week because of that?
The Falcons would love to be run-heavy every week but large early deficits have not allowed that to happen. The more that the Falcons can run the ball, the less Matt Ryan gets hit. That is a win-win situation for the Falcons.
Like Doug Marrone, Dan Quinn has been heavily criticized this year for how he has coached the Falcons. Do you expect her to be a change after this season? Will it stop with just the head coach?
I did early on. Matter of fact, we started that fire Dan Quinn movement after Week 3. Though, looking back now, we were probably pre-mature with. The two biggest upsets of this season in the NFL are the Falcons winning in New Orleans by dominating the Saints and last week in Santa Clara.
The Falcons have proven they can compete with the best teams, they just need consistency. I think the Falcons will make changes, but Dan Quinn will not be among them.
Which player on the Falcons roster has impressed you the most this year? Is there a rookie who maybe has stood out more than many thought he would?
Pro-Bowler Grady Jarrett. I said five years ago after he was drafted on my former Atlanta radio show, that if Grady were 6’5 instead of 5’11, he would have gone Top 5 not round five. He is an absolute monster and people are finally starting to take notice.
As far as a rookie, I would go with Chris Lindstrom. Even though he missed more than half the season, the few games he has played in, he has shown that he is that dude and will be a starter up front for the Falcons for years to come. There was a play last week where he obliterated Nick Bosa, I cannot wait to see more of that.
How does the Falcons defense stop Leonard Fournette, who has become a dual-threat this season?
They honestly probably won’t stop him. The Falcons have faced Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey a total of four times this year. In those four matchups, the Falcons gave up almost 500 yards rushing and receiving combined to both, however, zero touchdowns and they went 3-1 in those four games.
Bend but don’t break. [Leonard] Fournette will get his, but the goal is for no one else to get going as well.
The Falcons win on Sunday if…
They can establish the run early and get stops on third down. They are 4-2 since the bye-week and in all four of those wins, this was the recipe. Julio Jones needs 250 yards over the final two weeks to extend his current NFL record of five consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 yards receiving.