The Atlanta Falcons (2-6) will be looking to record back-to-back wins against the Denver Broncos (3-4) on Sunday and quarterback Matt Ryan knows his team's performance in the red zone will play a significant role in that happening.
The Falcons were a woeful 2-of-6 in the red zone against the Carolina Panthers and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, wide receiver Julio Jones and interim head coach Raheem Morris have all stated the importance in being more efficient in this area.
Ryan said the Falcons added an extra red zone period into Monday's practice in hopes to be better come Sunday. At the end of the day, Ryan said it all comes down to scoring touchdowns, not kicking field goals.
"Touchdowns, that's the No. 1 thing," Ryan said. "Finding a way to do it. That comes with running the football well, I think we've done a good job with that. We've got to capitalize in the pass game when we get opportunities and we have to do it in practice first."
The Broncos are one of the NFL's best defenses in the red zone and Ryan acknowledged his unit will have it "earn" everything they get down there.
"They're stingy," Ryan said. "They tackle well and they make you earn it."
Preparing for Bradley Chubb and Denver's pass rush
The former UGA Bulldog, Bradley Chubb, appears to have not missed a beat after tearing his ACL and missing the 2019 season. Chubb has 5.5 sacks and his play is helping lead a Denver defense that ranks No. 7 in the league in sacks with 20. Ryan and Morris both talked about the Falcons needing to have a game plan for how they'll try and block Chubb so he doesn't wreck the game.
"Chubb is a really good pass rusher," Ryan said. "Talented and plays with good effort. He's physically gifted and he's a guy that we've got to account for where he's at."
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard has been designated to return from injured reserve. Dennard is free to return to practice and work with the rest of his teammates. Take a look at the best images from practice in this gallery, presented by Quikrete.