Matt Ryan And Atlanta Falcons Giving Two-Points In NFL Preseason Match Up With New England

August 16th, 2010- By Bryan Cross

Both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots got a win in the first week of the 2010 NFL Preseason, as football is in the air again.  While both squads limited the role of their projected Starters during the 2010 NFL Season, as the preseason rolls on, more and more reserves will be implemented as teams try and increase their depth as much as possible.

The Falcons faced the Kansas City Chiefs and got a 20-10 win. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw just six passes, completing six for 34 yards and no touchdowns. The Patriots took down the defending Super Bowl Champion, and division rival of the Falcons in the New Orleans Saints.The New England run game spearheaded the victory, as the Patriots try to assert themselves and gain balance on offense to help out quarterback Tom Brady.

USA Online Sportsbooks have set the Falcons as a two-point favorite in this one, with the over/under resting at 37 points.

Atlanta Offense Vs. New England Defense-

Matt Ryan will likely start this one for the Falcons and play in a few series.  Since he only threw six passes in the opener, head coach Mike Smith may want to allow him to open it up a bit and throw a few more, but then again, there is a fine line between playing your star quarterback too much and senselessly getting him injured.

Running back Michael Turner rushed for 29 yards on four carries and looked solid in his limited amount of time on the field.  The Falcons are one of the top rushing offense in the NFL and will look to continue that trend behind Turner, Jarius Norwood and Jason Snelling.  Expect the Patriot defense to get a heavy dose of the the trio in one way or another in this match up, leaving most of the quarterbacking to back up John Parker Wilson and D.J Shockley.

Defensively, the Patriots need to sew up their secondary, as that was an apparent weakness a season ago.  They did that in April’s Draft with the edition of defensive back Devin McCourty.  The New England defense surrendered just 305 total yards in their game with New Orleans, but it is difficult to tell how much of it was them, and how much was the Saints reserves.

New England Offense Vs. Atlanta Defense-

The Patriot offense clearly starts with Tom Brady, but the importance and stress will be placed on the rush offense, as it will be critical to the success of the Patriots this season when looking at the 2010 New England Patriots Team Preview.

Fred Taylor and BenJarvus Green-Ellis got the bulk of the load in the game against the Saints, and that will likely be the case again in this one against the Falcons.  Similar to the Falcons, the Patriots have several running back capable of getting it done, which bodes well for the team.

The Falcon defense gave up 270 yards against the Chiefs in their preseason opener, and look pretty solid on the whole.  The Patriot offense is of a different breed however, ranking in the top-three in the AFC and in the NFL in 2009.  Also like the Patriots, the Falcons need to hem up their secondary, and they made moves to do that, bringing in Dunta Robinson.  Look for the Falcons to experiment in coverages against a good quarterback like Brady to see if they are able to take chances or not.  After all, it’s merely an exhibition, and that is the purpose for preseason games.

Special Teams-

Brandon Tate will return kicks for the Patriots this season, and is an explosive player.  Kicker Stephen Gostkowski continues to be reliable.

For the Falcons, Harry Douglas and rookie Dominique Franks will take turns returning kicks while Matt Bryant will continue kicking.

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