After a victory last week against the Redskins, the Atlanta Falcons look to build momentum going into the new season by taking on the Cleveland Browns tonight.
Keanu Neal debut:
Neal’s hard-hitting brand of football has shown up really well in training camp so far. Having missed last week’s game with a ‘trunk injury’, he has been back to full speed and is expected to make his debut against the Browns.
Dan Quinn will likely keep his playing time down but the Falcons will be hoping his big play capabilities are on show during his time on the field. The team is hoping he can be an intimidating presence and it will be exciting to see that for the first time tonight.
Will we see improvement from the Offensive starters?
No need to panic after the first preseason game but the starting unit certainly fell a little flat against the Redskins. The Atlanta Falcons offense will be expected to set the tone this week and they will be expecting much more impact for their star players.
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Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan will all be expecting to play better than they did last week. The offensive line could also do with a better week as it tries to gel for the coming season. It’s important for the unit to start to build some momentum going into the games that actually count. This week is as good as any to get that started.
How good can the linebackers be?
The falcons have a very talented Defensive Line and Secondary. One of the big keys for the defense this year if it’s going to become elite is the performance of its linebackers. After a bit of a rough season last year, the line-backing unit performance well as a whole last week and Sean Weatherspoon’s return certainly helped.
Rookies Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell have both had tremendous camps so far. This looks like the deepest the position has looked for sometime. With Hue Jackson now heading up things in Cleveland, the Browns will likely use some inventive looks on offense. How the backers respond to these will show us just how far this unit has to go.