*1. In the past few weeks, there's been a lot of talk about Roddy White's low output. Is this a concern to you? *
Jay Adams: It's a concern only because the Falcons have lost three of the past four games. Roddy White is the most prolific receiver in franchise history, so it's a little jarring when you see he's only been targeted 30 times this year. There's a natural progression into a reduced role that occurs when players get to Roddy's age, so you had to know the time was coming. The thing that stands out in the minds of most people with this concern, however, is that Roddy can still be a productive member of the offense. If the Falcons start winning, whether he's overly involved or not, is all that matters to Roddy and his teammates.
Kelsey Conway: It's not concerning to me because of the comments made this week by Dan Quinn and Kyle Shanahan on this subject. Shanahan shared his belief in Roddy White's ability on Thursday when he said, "I think we do need to get him more touches. He's been there at times and been open when he hasn't gotten the ball." Quinn also stressed how important White is to this team, so I'm not concerned at all.
Andrew Hirsh: I don't think so. As Dan Quinn said Monday, Roddy is still an important part of the Falcons' plans. Maybe he isn't getting the same number of touches as he once did, but with 11 years of NFL experience, he remains an important leader in the locker room. White can still make plays when called upon; Leonard Hankerson, Jacob Tamme and Justin Hardy are solid options, too. There's only one ball to go around, after all, and sometimes respected WRs don't get the attention they're used to. It's difficult, but it's part of the game.
2. With Matt Hasselbeck expected to start at QB for the Colts, what's one key to slowing down their passing game?
JA: Stop the run. Frank Gore isn't on a pitch count and one would expect him to be a big part of the Indy offense on Sunday. If the Falcons, ranked in the top 5 in the league in stopping the run, can make the Colts one-dimensional by taking away the ground game, it'll slow down the passing game as the defense can focus on defending against it. KC: Being physical with the Colts' receivers and tight ends. They have obvious talent in both of those positions, so being physical and trying to limit their production will be key.
AH: One is taking away the short and intermediate throws. At 40, Hasselbeck's arm, which was never a cannon to begin with, isn't as strong as it used to be. This year he's fired 12 attempts 20 or more yards, and only four of them have been completed for a total of 116 yards.
3. Who's one Falcon who can step up in the second half and give the team a boost?
JA: There are plenty of possibilities here, but I think Leonard Hankerson could give a boost to the offense. Now, that's not to say that his absence with a hamstring injury has been the key to the Falcons' offensive woes, but he's a big target for Matt Ryan and one that's could benefit from the attention paid to Julio Jones. I could see Hank putting up some really solid numbers in the final seven games. KC: Having a healthy Justin Durant back will be vital for this defense. When Durant is on the field, he is such an impact player in so many different ways. With a healthy Durant and the secondary back to being healthy with the probable return of William Moore and Robert Alford, I think everything will come together.
AH: I'll go with Ra'Shede Hageman. The Falcons like what he's done in the run game so far in the base 4-3 under package, and if he can get a little faster and improve his technique, he can quickly become a valuable pass rusher, as well.
Over/under: 500 total passing yards
JA: Under. Both of these teams love the run game, so I expect a lot of yardage on the ground Sunday.
KC: Over. I see Matt Ryan having a huge day, and I think the Colts will also throw the ball a lot, as they will rely on Matt Hasselbeck's veteran leadership.
AH: Over. I don't believe Hasselbeck will have a spectacular game, but I do think Matt Ryan is due for a big day.