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Q&A with ESPN's Louis Riddick: Biggest challenge for Falcons defense, Ridley feasting, more

ESPN color analyst Louis Riddick previews the Falcons upcoming matchup with the Packers

The Atlanta Falcons (0-3) will head to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers (3-0) on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." As the Falcons look to get their first win of the season on the road against a tough NFC opponent, ESPN color analyst Louis Riddick joins to provide his insight and analysis heading into Monday's primetime game.


What are your thoughts on the Falcons' offense through three games?

Louis Riddick: They are very explosive offensively. Obviously, Calvin and Julio are as good as it gets. The deep passing game, particularly on first down off of play-action, Calvin has just feasted off that. I heard Dirk Koetter say that was something they wanted to do more of this year, and they've done more. The passing game has been productive. Todd Gurley has had his moments.

What are the keys to the Falcons beating the Packers?

Riddick: It's disconcerting that all of those years that Dan has been there, he has tried to upgrade the pass rush and still hasn't been able to where on a consistent basis have it where they can rush four and cover seven and raise hell. It hasn't been consistent. This could get ugly for this defense quickly unless these guys can stop making mistakes, start playing with better technique and be able to put some type of pressure on Aaron because if they don't, he's going to pick them a part, he's just too good. They have their work cut out for them on that side of the ball. They're going to have to maximize every possession offensively. They can't afford to score too quickly. They need to keep the ball with Aaron Rodgers.
* What do you see as some of the issues Atlanta's defense is having?*

Riddick: In order to play this type of scheme, they need to be able to rush with consistency. Dante Fowler has not been able to consistently do that over his career. Takk needs to stay healthy. When he's healthy, he plays probably harder than anyone on that defense from a motor perspective. Grady is one of the very best, but he can't do it alone. It's a multi-layered issue, front and coverage always go together. If you're deficient in one, the other has to be strong. But they've been deficient in both, it usually spells bad things. All that being said, they should have won the last two games they've played.

What is the matchup you're most looking forward to watching?

Riddick: It'll be interesting to see what Green Bay does with Jaire Alexander as far as will he travel with Julio? Or will he matchup with Calvin? He has the foot speed to handle a guy like Ridley who's a little bit quicker than Julio. That's a nice matchup.

Julio Jones was a limited participant at practice, according to the team's official injury report, but he is back on the field. Take a look at the best images from practice in this gallery, presented by Quikrete.

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