Falcons Prepare To Face Dangerous Duo Of Backs

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The Falcons refer to them as the "speed guy" and the "power guy," but most fantasy football owners know them as Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. Kansas City Chiefs fans know them as their top two running backs. 

Mike Nolan and the defense have a game plan to stop both backs, and one isn't that different from the other. All hands on the defense, especially the linebackers, will make sure they know which back is in the backfield and the scheme won't change, but some of their methods will.

"If you're the backside guy, you know you've got to stay backside because Charles can run anywhere," Mike Peterson said on defending the two different backs. "If Hillis is in the backfield, you're on the backside, you take care of your job and get to the ball. It's just little things."

Last season, Hillis rushed for 587 yards in 10 games with the Browns last season. In 2010, he rushed for more than 1,000. Many believe his signing by the Chiefs indicates an effort to further commit to the run on offense.

Charles missed all of last season with a knee injury, but he was a Pro Bowl back in 2010. Peterson said he thinks he's one of the three fastest running backs in the league, but there may be some hesitation as he comes back in his first game from a serious injury.

Peterson said a good plan against a back in a situation like Charles' is to hit him early and often. If he can be contained in part with heavy hitting, some hesitation may creep into his mind.

The linebackers and safeties will have the biggest responsibility in defending the two backs. The Falcons defensive line's consensus is that knowledge of what back is lined up is necessary, but in general they're just trying to generate a push on the Chiefs' offensive line.

"Just knocking people back (is our goal), playing the style that coach Nolan and coach Ray (Hamilton) want us to do," rookie defensive Travian Robertson said. "It doesn't matter who is back there. We just know that it's a different style. We just have to be aware and see who is back there."

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