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Falcons Fans, Don't Fear Peyton Manning


Well, okay. Maybe a little. Maybe even more than a little.

Peyton Manning is a scary dude, even in his late 30's and fresh off neck surgery that cost him the 2011 season. He's also got at least three worthy weapons in freakishly athletic Demaryius Thomas, the excellent route runner and sure-handed option Eric Decker and former Colts tight end Jacob Tamme. This won't be easy.

Still, the Falcons are in a position to handle this game. They can mostly shut down the run game, which is a lot weaker than it was a week ago for Kansas City. They can also use their dynamic safety tandem and some linebacker help to mostly clamp down on Tamme (or at least, we hope so), leaving the cornerbacks free to concentrate on Decker and Thomas. That's not an easy task by any secondary, much less one down one of the best cover cornerbacks in the game.

And let's face it, the Falcons' ability to shut down the Broncos passing game is likely to be the key in this one. If they can stop Manning from throwing all over them, their offense should be able to do enough to get them the win. If they can't, it's going to be an awfully long football game, and on the Broncos may just be able to win.

Thankfully, Mike Nolan knows that, and Nolan showed a knack for adjusting against the Chiefs that makes me fairly optimistic that he can at least slow down Manning. Honestly, slowing down might be enough. It might also be the only reasonable thing to expect.

What are your expectations for how the Falcons will try to contain Manning, and whether they'll succeed?