As the Atlanta Falcons get ready for the game against the New York Jets across the pond in London Sunday, it’s safe to say that this game won’t be a walk in the park for the Falcons who are now missing their top two wide receivers with Russell Gage out with an ankle injury and Calvin Ridley not traveling with the team this week due to personal reasons.
Now, the Falcons do still have arguably their best player thus far in this early season in Cordarrelle Patterson, a versatile back in Mike Davis, Hayden Hurst, and let’s not forget the number four overall pick Kyle Pitts. However, with all of that being said earlier today on The Nick Kayal Show, Nick explained why he thinks the onus of this game is on the defense.
I think most people would agree that when this new regime was brought in for the Falcons that Arthur Smith had more to work with on the offensive side of the football than Dean Pees did on defense, and Nick expresses that same sentiment saying “I think a lot of people would say that Dean Pees has done more with less than Arthur Smith has.”
Now, Nick believes Pees is the guy to get this Falcons defense on track calling him “one of the best defensive coordinators this league has seen, especially in the last 20 years.” As mentioned earlier the Falcons will be taking on a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson, who as Nick says “has great arm strength,” but has proven to be prone to mistakes thus far throwing an interception in every game this season, including a four-interception game Week 2 against the Patriots.
Another key and question is will the Falcons catch the ball if the ball is thrown to them. The Falcons defense has thrown some balls a few times already this season, including a badly dropped interception last week by Duron Harmon. If the Falcons defense makes the plays when they are provided to them it should be a big shot in the arm for the Dirty Birds.
Nick believes that Dean Pees should be “salivating” at this opportunity to take on Zach Wilson and the Jets and he’s right because all signs point to the Falcons at least getting one turnover Sunday morning. However, all of the pressure is still on the Falcons to win this game.
Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, head coach Arthur Smith, and the entire coaching staff have said this team is built to “win now,” and if this team wants to even sniff the postseason this is a game they need. Nick says “If the Falcons can get 20 points the defense should be able to hold the Jets and get this team a win.”
If the Falcons are truly a win-now team, then the time is now to string some wins together, and we will find out Sunday morning if the Falcons are up for the challenge.