When the Atlanta Falcons (0-3) take on the Green Bay Packers (3-0) on Monday night, quarterback Matt Ryan knows he'll see a defensive unit that is capable of generating a lot of pressure.
With two top pass rushers in Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith up front, Ryan is preparing to see a lot of different looks. Za'Darius has recorded two sacks and three quarterback hits already this season. The duo combined for 25.5 sacks in the 2019 season.
"I think they've played well," Ryan said. "They give you a lot of different looks and a lot of different personnel groupings. It's going to be huge for us to identify who's in there and handle the different looks they give us."
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is known for his pressure packages and often uses Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander as part of his blitz package. Alexander and Kevin King are two of the better young cornerbacks in the NFL and will certainly challenge Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside.
"I think they're playing with confidence, for sure," Ryan said. "They break on balls really well; they pattern recognize very well. I think they both have very good ball skills and play the ball well in the air."
Where can Ryan help the Falcons the most?
Ryan ranks No. 3 in passing yards with 961 and seven touchdowns. Despite getting off to a hot start personally, Ryan believes he can do more to help his team earn its first win. The Falcons are averaging 30 points per game which is the sixth-most in the NFL.
"I think for me it's about capitalizing when we have the opportunities," Ryan said. "It's about giving our guys chances to make plays on balls. I think I've done it pretty good through the start, but it can always be better. Ultimately giving them the kind of ball to allow them to make a play on it and I think I can do that better."
With no fans expected to be at Lambeau Field on Monday night, Ryan said it won't be like the previous trips to Green Bay but he's still looking forward to the matchup and hoping to return to Atlanta with a win.
"It'll be different for sure," Ryan said. I always enjoy going up there and playing in their stadium. I just want to win. Just find a way to get it done. I still have a lot of faith and belief in this football team that we're capable of winning. It's not about proving anything, it's about finding a way to get to 1-3. And then try and find a way to get back in the mix here."