Please read this like one document but it is clearly too big for 1 post.
Also Turner_The_Burner and myself are trying to make a weekly thing of this so if you like it then please rec it, thanks.
Flipping it to the Bengals
As it has been said here I’m going to play the devils advocate here and speak about where the Bengals can hurt us bad. Worst case scenario for the Falcons - Batman and Robin take off, Matt Ryan gets pressured and the Bengals secondary locks down.
Batman and Robin take off: The hype for T.O and Ochocinco has been ridiculous but for good reason. These are two amazing WRs who both could be in the Hall of Fame once they retire… if they retire. Unfortunately their egos have coexisted so far, and being so close to game day I doubt they will explode now (subsequently destroying the Bengals offense), but you never know. Assuming, however, that they continue business as usual, we have a problem. Robinson is out this game and that leaves Chris Owens to take on one of T.Ochocinco. I like our secondary a lot, however I believe it works because of Robinson. The big problem with facing both of these players is that either of them can do damage; focus on one and the other will score big. Both of them have had big games this season. I love Chris Owens, I think he will become an amazing CB but give him time. Chris Owens is a good CB who can become great with a few years of practice, but at the moment he is still young and will make some mistakes. He did get a great INT against T.O. last year against the Bills, but that was partially due to Edwards/Fitzpatrick under throwing it. Palmer isn’t a great QB by any stretch of the imagination, but he is better than the Bills QBs and he has good games on occasion. It will take a collective great game from everyone to stop them.
Unfortunately the pain doesn’t stop with just those 2. While we are worrying about Batman and Robin there are 2 players that could humbly burn us. Jordan Shipley is a perfectly adequate 3rd WR and Jermaine Gresham is a good TE. With Spoon out again and Lofton questionable our LB’s aren’t looking as powerful as they did at the start of the season. They will be players we must watch while carefully balancing the coverage and pressure. If we don’t get it perfect someone will burn us.
Matt Ryan gets pressured: Matt Ryan has played his worst football when he is being pressured. This isn’t surprising, and over time he will learn not to panic in the face of 7 men wanting to break him in half. But for now he makes bad passes and the Bengals could take advantage of that. Thank
God Vishnu Antwan Odom is out for this game. That guy can play; last year he got 8 sacks in 6 games (including a 5 sack performance of Aaron Rodgers) before going out with an injury. As we all know from John Abraham, a good pass rusher can turn the whole tide of the game by pressuring the QB and making him do stupid things. Odom can burn teams and (by the look of Sam Baker), he could have killed him. If Odom could stay healthy he could be a perennial Pro-Bowler.
Speaking of Sam Baker, this guy is an issue. He got dominated by Trent Cole last week which caused Matt Ryan to struggle. He has been giving up penalties and sacks all year; this problem needs to be addressed. I reckon this week, after getting dominated last week, he will do anything to stop the RE get to Ryan (and I mean anything), so I expect a lot of flags. He is up against Jonathan Fanene who got 6 sacks last year after starting 10 games once Odom got hurt. For a backup, I’m impressed, and with Odom out again he will be looking to repeat those numbers. Beware of this man - he can hurt us. Do note he is questionable but with Full Participation in Practice, after coming off a hamstring injury.
The Bengals front 7 isn’t very scary. No Patrick Willis, no Trent Cole, no 3-4 defence. However they are team that gets everyone involved in sacking the QB. They can and will put pressure on Ryan; they may not sack him but they will be close and this could cause Ryan to rush his throws and give the Bengals secondary a chance to strike.
Bengals secondary locks down: One of the biggest stories for the Falcons has been the lacklustre offence and the over use of Roddy White. However, this was before Jenkins came back. Last week he has a great game snagging 5 balls for 99 yards. However if the Bengals lock down Jenkins and White, our offensive woes could continue.
The Bengals defence are notoriously unknown; no player jumps out at you and no player is an obvious threat. However they are ranked 13th in pass yards, a reasonable effort, and could spell out doom for our Falcons if they work well as a unit. They have 7 picks as a team and have the 3rd lowest rating to opposing QB’s. The Bengals defence are a huge threat for Ryan which, if they work together well, will cause a snowball effect of bad things.
After a sack by the RE and constant pressure all day Sam Baker starts holding to avoid more sacks, when he doesn’t give up penalties the pressure on Ryan causes him to rush throws, with above average coverage the Bengals corners are able to keep White and Jenkins out of the game and also get an INT or two.
This is a very real possibility and if it happens could be the deciding factor for the game.
We obviously hope that more good than bad comes from this game but we aren't blind to believe it will all be positive. 'Carn the Falcs you have the support of Atlanta and parts of Australia behind you, do us proud!