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Four Critical Matchups In The Falcons-Titans Game

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It's nearly time for another game. I'm hoping the Falcons will be 6-4 after this one.

As I've mentioned, I think the Falcons will beat the Titans. The talent gap here is pretty significant, even if the Titans have some nice young players, and Atlanta has to be out for blood after last week's loss. 

The Titans will undoubtedly refuse to just lie down and let the Falcons win, for whatever reason. So you can expect a hard-fought game with a handful of surprises, because any team with Chris Johnson is capable of producing a few of those.

After the jump, let's jump right in to four matchups worth watching in the game ahead. 

John Abraham vs. David Stewart

The pass rush has been struggling, which we'll touch upon a little more tomorrow. Needless to say, the Falcons gotta get that fixed.

It would help if Abraham got going. We're in a bit of an off-year for the wizened veteran, who has taken less heat than he would normally because of the presence of Ray Edwards. Make no mistake, though: The Predator ishaving a rough year.

He has an opportunity to get going against David Stewart, a competent but hardly exceptional tackle. If Abe can get going the rest of the line should follow suit, and it would go a long way toward foiling Matt Hasselbeck.

Chris Johnson vs. Sean Weatherspoon

What if Chris Johnson gets going? The Falcons would be in huge trouble.

Given his dual role as a fast runner and a receiver out of the backfield, Johnson's going to square off against the Falcons' linebackers on multiple occasions in this game. Once again, it will fall to Sean Weatherspoon and his battery mates to put a stop to him.

'Spoon has proven this year that he's a force to be reckoned with on defense. If Johnson manages to get around Ray Edwards, John Abraham and Kroy Biermann--no easy task, by the way--then 'Spoon will have a chance to tee off on him. Expect it.

Michael Turner vs. Titans Line

The Titans are nothing spectacular against the run. Michael Turner generally eats poor defenses for lunch. Ergo, a big game for Turner.

I don't think I have to spend a lot of time breaking down the possibilities here. If Turner runs well, the Falcons will win. If he doesn't, it's going to be much tougher.

Roddy White vs. Jason McCourty

Roddy White would like very much to get back on track. He'll have his chance against the Titans.

Jason McCourty is actually a pretty talented young cornerback, but a man of White's veteran guile should be able to beat him a few times. With Julio Jones likely missing the game and Harry Douglas matched up against a tough, physical Cortland Finnegan, White's going to have to fill the void a little bit.

Of course, Matt Ryan could just throw to Tony Gonzalez all day, but what's the fun in that?