ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: The offense of the Atlanta Falcons lines up against the defense of the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
So in the game we're all tired of talking about by now and won't mention by name, Matt Ryan got sacked. Five times, to be precise. Earlier I said my biggest concern was with the tackling, but the offensive line play is more or less 1A. Figured it was worth discussing on its own.
That's obviously unacceptable. The Falcons are stumbling into another challenging game in a few short days, one that will see them squaring off against a stacked Eagles secondary and a front seven that loves blitzing so much they married it. If the line can't give Ryan time to throw, he's going to get sacked again. Likely more than once.
Now admittedly, losing Ovie Mughelli hurt. And admittedly, Todd McClure missed his first start in like a decade, which leads me to believe his leg was gnawed off by a wolf. But the personnel available have to gel, or they're going to get the Falcons' franchise quarterback killed.
This is one of those rare problems that you can't throw replacements at. You can’t exactly juggle starters at the moment—not when your backups are basically Brett Romberg, Will Svitek and Mike Johnson. So what it comes down to is the linemen stepping up, playing better and not being bewildered by simple blitzes. We know they can be better, but the Eagles won't make it easy.
That's mostly because of the pressure they can bring up front, pressure from guys like Jason Babin on the edge and Cullen Jenkins in the middle. The Eagles don't blitz quite as voraciously as they used to, but they still have enough talent to get after Matt Ryan throughout the game.
In your mind, who is the weakest link on the offensive line, who is the strongest and how will the unit fare against the Eagles?