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The Falcons offense needs to redeem themselves against the Eagles

After an abysmal Week 1 showing in which the offense sunk the Falcons’ chances with three turnovers, it’s time for the supposed powerhouse of Atlanta’s roster to prove their worth against the Eagles.

Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

We spent the entire 2019 offseason as fans and analysts taking a closer look at this Falcons’ roster and trying to determine its strengths and weaknesses. Through all that work, one thing has become abundantly clear: Atlanta’s offense is designed to be the strength of the team, for better or worse.

Matt Ryan is one of the NFL’s top QBs. The Falcons’ WR corps features a top-3 that are the best in the league in Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu. TE Austin Hooper made his first Pro Bowl in 2018. At RB, Atlanta has so many options outside of starters Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith that two promising players might be gameday inactives (Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison) for parts of the season. The Falcons invested in two starting guards in free agency, and spent two first round picks on offensive linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft.

That’s why it was so disappointing to see the unit fizzle out almost entirely against the Vikings, particularly early in the game. Ryan made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, Julio was covered effectively by Xavier Rhodes, and the running game got few chances to get going after the Falcons fell behind 28-0.

In Week 2 against the Eagles, it’s imperative that Atlanta’s offense redeems itself. The Falcons will be back at home and will hopefully have all the first week jitters out of the way. The team lost rookie RG Chris Lindstrom for at least the first eight weeks of the season due to a broken foot, but has another starter waiting in the wings in Jamon Brown. RT Kaleb McGary is continuing to build up his conditioning after missing the majority of training camp, and has been named the starter for Sunday’s game.

We just witnessed a Washington offense helmed by journeyman QB Case Keenum with a rookie WR1 and missing their best offensive lineman (LT Trent Williams) give the Eagles’ vaunted defense everything they could handle in Week 1. The Falcons have far more talent at virtually every position on the roster. On paper, this is a matchup that Atlanta should be able to exploit early and often.

Atlanta’s offense is the strength of the team, and getting out to an early lead against Philadelphia will be integral to coming away with a win on Sunday Night Football. I think a lot of us expect a shootout in Week 2, particularly since the Eagles also feature a very talented passing attack and one of the best offensive lines in football.

It’s time to right the ship and prove that all the investment this offseason in giving the Falcons one of the NFL’s most talented offenses was the right decision. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the unit will have their chance to do just that in front of a national audience. A win against an NFC contender would go a long way in calming the fanbase after a total trainwreck in Week 1.

What are your thoughts on the Falcons’ chances on Sunday? Do you have high expectations for Atlanta’s offense in Week 2?