After a nausea-inducing loss against the Cleveland Browns, the Atlanta Falcons look to salvage their season against the Dallas Cowboys. Fresh off of a key win against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys hold an identical 4-5 record as the Falcons and are seeking to move up in a lackluster NFC East. We attempt to put the Cleveland disaster behind us as we look forward to Sunday’s game, starting with Wednesday’s edition of Falcoholinks.
At last. At long last. Deion Jones is poised to return on Sunday against the Cowboys, providing an enormous boost to the middle of the defense. It’s an immediate, immense upgrade, and with the Falcons’ season on the line once more it couldn’t come at a more important moment.
Our Jeanna Thomas is out with an excellent primer about the nature of Jones’ injury, the nuts and bolts of injured reserve rules that permit his return, and what it all means for the Atlanta Falcons.
Coming apart at the corners
Atlanta has both of its starting corners, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, locked up to lucrative, long-term deals. To say their play has been underwhelming in 2018 is an understatement. Blown coverages. Missed interceptions. Ill-timed penalties.
Neither have lived up to their billing, and Dave Choate wonders if some changes at the position are in order. The Falcons drafted Isaiah Oliver with their second round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson has played well during his limited snaps. Regardless of what the team chooses to do, it’s become blatantly clear that improved performance is desperately needed at cornerback.
Sound the alarm?
The Falcons have carved up opposing defenses through the air for the majority of the season, but Sunday in Cleveland was a different story altogether. Although it was another solid day for Matt Ryan, the deep ball was conspicuously absent. With Dallas coming to town and similar looks expected from their defense, the Falcons’ sudden dink-and-dunk heel turn could spell another disappointing loss.
In Defense of De’Vondre
De’Vondre Campbell has been catching some unnecessary flak for his post-game comments on 92.9 The Game, when the deeper issue is why the team felt they could waltz into Cleveland ill-prepared and come out with a win. Breaking with another “time-honored” aspect of sports, Campbell spoke clearly and plainly about the Falcons’ lack of energy and underestimating the Browns.
He should be commended for his candor, not derided because he refused to toe the company line. The biggest takeaway from his interview is why the team entered into the game with that mindset in the first place.