SFTB: Questions about Isaiah Oliver, strategy, NFC South ... and the Vikings?

You’ve got questions about the Falcons and we’ve got answers – Straight from the Beek

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The Falcons are heading into Week 2 relatively healthy as they prepare for a trip to Texas to play the Cowboys on Sunday. The same can't be said for their counterparts, who suffered at least three significant injuries in their opener against the Rams. How will it all play out? We'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, you've got plenty of questions (and comments), so let's get to them now. Just remember that all opinions here are mine unless noted otherwise.

And away we go.

Dave from Camden, NJ
What up Beek, checking in from Jersey. What a game, huh? I know it's another backbreaker, but I feel like we showed improvement. I mean I like how Oliver played for the most part … yea Metcalf had 95 yards but 75 came from two plays, and for the most part Oliver locked him up. Overall, I liked how the defense played and the offense of course is gonna be a nightmare for teams and we only gave up two sacks (one was Matt running to buy time for the play to extend). But my question is, do think the O-line will continue to progress or do you think that was just the fact the Seahawks don't have much of a pass rush? Thanks for the time and everyone pump the breaks on our secondary!!!!!!! As always, RISE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beek: What's up, Dave. Always good to hear from fans up in Jersey. Some of the knee-jerk reactions from fans always seem to border ridiculousness, and this year is no different. I don't publish them all, but when falls call for benching, trades and firings after one game, it's ridiculous. You saw the all of the preseason predictions, right? Anyway, I tend to agree with you, Dave. I don't think Isaiah Oliver played all that bad on Sunday. I thought the offensive and defensive lines looked better, too. To answer your question, I think it was part improvement up front and partly due to the fact that the Seahawks don't have a scary pass rush – except when they bring Jamal Adams. That dude can play! Every team poses a different challenge, though, and this week will be a much different one in Dallas. The Cowboys do have pass rusher, have three very good receivers, an exceptional running back and I think Dak Prescott doesn't get enough respect nationally. I think the Falcons might be able to exploit the Cowboys secondary if Ryan gets time back there. Also, Todd Gurley has had some big games against the Cowboys in the past.

Peter from St. Helena, CA
Beek: I can't yell at you because you've only been in Atlanta for three seasons. However, you clearly write some ridiculous things. Writing that "Seattle is a very good team," is by extension writing that Atlanta is not a very good team. And we're not. Q was hired to build a great defense. He has not done that. He's going to go and again we'll start over. Leave while you can! Last season, you wrote that we just should "outscore the other team." It was stupid and stolen. We fans wanted a team that was truly good. We're not, so please stop telling us that we are. Mind what you have learned, save you it can!

Beek: Someone didn't get their Cheerios this morning. I'm just kidding! Look, I get your frustration, but … the Falcons had no answer for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are very good. A lot of teams, in fact, come away from playing Seattle thinking the same thing. And while I don't remember writing "outscore the other team," it was, at times, the only option for a team that couldn't stop anyone through the first eight games last year. I think the Falcons have more collective talent on their roster right now than they did at the end of 2019. But the NFC South is much different, as is the NFC. I think the Falcons should win around nine games this year, maybe more if they can stay healthy. That should be good enough to squeeze into the postseason. If they don't, I'm sure you'll be the first one into my inbox to remind me of what a "stupid" thing that was to write. Cheer up and rise up, Peter.

Ryan from Atlanta, GA
Why are people thinking we'll lose to the Vikings? They don't have their cornerbacks anymore and the biggest threat is the rushing attack. How do you think we should stop Dalvin Cook? We have the more coverage kind of linebackers. Thanks!

Beek: I don't think the Falcons will lose to the Vikings … or beat the Vikings, Ryan. They play the Cowboys this weekend. They don't play Minnesota until Week 6. So much can (and will) happen between now and then.

Katie from Woodstock, CT
Hey Beek! Do you think the Falcons will have a straight shot at the NFC South championship now with Brady and Gronk on the Bucs? I don't really know myself. With all the new additions to the other teams (good thing Cam's a Patriot now ... phew ...), I mean seriously. We play the Bucs TWICE! They are quite fired up, but that fire can be extinguished, as we saw in Week 1 vs. the Saints/Seahawks. Yes, I'm talking about both the Bucs and the Falcons here. Well, come to think of it, Brady and Ryan both have a terrific (well, sort of) offensive line and AMAZING receivers in Jones, Ridley, and Evans. Watch out NFC South here come the Falcons!

Beek: Hang on, I need to take a gulp of coffee. OK, I love the enthusiasm and optimism, Katie. When I watched the Bucs-Saints game, I think the Saints looked a veteran that's loaded with talent and on a Super Bowl-or-bust mission in what appears to be the final season for Drew Brees. The Bucs look like a talented bunch, but one that hasn't played a whole lot together. And that's really the case. I think they'll get better as the season goes on as long as they remain healthy. The Falcons have always been able to move the ball through the air … but that's is not how you win consistently in the NFL. You must have a stingy defense and be able to run the ball, too. We're one week into the season and still learning a lot about all of these teams. I get that some fans are jaded, but every year is different. Right now, Drew Bree, Cam Newton and Tom Brady don't matter at all to the Falcons. Dak Prescott and those Cowboys matter. That's it.

Rusty from Marietta, GA
With 12 seconds remaining in first half, Falcons had 1 time out remaining. Instead of trying to score a touchdown to win the game or at least take a lead into locker room, they ran a quarterback sneak to get ball in center of field for a field goal. Falcons were playing to keep score close instead of playing to win the game. Falcons pay not to lose instead of playing to win.

Beek: Rusty, you can't win games at halftime. Kicking a 49-yard field goal – which is still no gimme, by the way – is a much smarter decision than a Hail Mary pass. Why? For one, you have a much higher percentage of making that kick than you do completing a pass at that point. Also, a lot can go wrong on a Hail Mary pass attempt. For one, Matt Ryan could be sacked, and he could fumble, and it could put the Seahawks in a position to score. The Seahawks could intercept the pass and run it back. No, you take the points. Every single time. At least six games were decided by a touchdown or less over the weekend, too. I thought the Falcons played better as the first half went on and there was no reason to think they wouldn't continue to in the second half. I'm going to disagree with you there in that scenario, every single time.

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