Roundtable: Falcons at Titans


  1. What does the Falcons defense need to do to get back on track?**

Andrew Hirsh: I think the biggest key, based on what a few players and Dan Quinn have said, is communication. The Falcons are still learning how to play Quinn's brand of football, and getting the finer points down takes time. Tight ends have presented a lot of challenges for Atlanta's D, but Brooks Reed, Ricardo Allen and William Moore are physically capable of slowing down guys like Delanie Walker. It'll come down to whether everyone can stay on the same page. 

Kelsey Conway: Creating turnovers. Dan Quinn has continuously stressed the importance of the ball, and that has been the point of emphasis since the team re-grouped on Monday. The Falcons are 5-0 when they cause a turnover. The offense seems to feed off the energy the defense brings, so I think this is the first step in getting back on track.

Jay Adams: Keep finding ways to improve on the things that have been working for you. The Falcons' run defense is stout and can continue to make teams one-dimensional. That happened against New Orleans, but the Saints were able to make things happen with the pass game. The Falcons were able to cause disruptions in the pass game through the first five games with pressure and turnovers. Being all about the ball, as head coach Dan Quinn says, can get this unit back to the success it saw in those five wins. 

2. Who's one Falcon you think is primed for a big game on Sunday?

AH: I wouldn't be surprised if Vic Beasley, Jr. has a breakout game against the Titans. Tennessee's offensive line is dealing with some key injuries, and Taylor Lewan, who's still young and relatively inexperienced, isn't as polished as most of the LTs Beasley has faced in 2015. 

KC: I expect Julio Jones to have a big day on Sunday. The weekend of rest allowed Jones to come back re-charged and I think he will take advantage of the Titans' secondary, especially Jason McCourty. Based off what Kyle Shanahan said in his press conference Thursday, expect the Falcons to come out attacking this Tennessee defense.

JA: There's no doubt for me that this could be another huge day for Devonta Freeman. He's hitting a stride. He's confident. He's seeing the field like few running backs in the league are right now. Against a run defense that hasn't done a lot to slow down an opponent's running game, Freeman is poised for some big numbers.

3. The Titans' D has improved quite a bit under Dick LeBeau. Who's one Tennessee defender you think Falcons fans should know about?

AH: DE Jurrell Casey doesn't get the attention of some of his teammates, but he's definitely one of the Titans' best players. With 3.5 sacks, 12 QB hurries and 13 run stops, he's dangerous on all downs and will require a lot of attention from Atlanta's O-linemen. 

KC: OLB Derrick Morgan. I talked about Morgan's impact in this week's Scouting Report. The linebacker leads the Titans with 4.5 sacks so far this season and is tied for fifth in the NFL. He is a big reason to why Tennessee's defense has 15 total sacks.

JA:Brian Orakpo is always a threat when he's on the field. I know he's dealt with injuries throughout his career, but when healthy like he is now, he's a beast to deal with. He can change a game, so this will be another big test for the Falcons offensive line.

Over/under: 50 total points.

AH: Under. I think the Falcons' offense will have a good day, and I think the defense will step up big time, as well. 

KC:  Under. I agree with Andrew, I think the offense and defense will have big days. 

JA:  Under. A great pass defense and a great run defense are going to be on the field this weekend. Scoring may be at a premium.

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