Injuries continue to plague the Falcons at an alarming rate. Running back Devonta Freeman will be placed on injured reserve after deciding to undergo a surgical procedure for a groin injury. The move to IR stipulates that Freeman will miss at least eight weeks.
Kicker Matt Bryant is also unlikely to play this week, due to a hamstring injury he suffered during last week’s victory over Tampa Bay. Bryant successfully scored on a 57-yard field goal attempt late in last week’s game, but injured his leg in the process. To fill the void created by Bryant’s absence, the Falcons signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, who connected on 16 of 21 field goal attempts last year as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
The Falcons’ pass offense is absolutely on fire. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns against the Bucs. Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 144 yards, and tight end Austin Hooper chipped in with another nine catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Ryan is also doing a great job of getting multiple players involved in the passing game. On Sunday, he completed passes to eight different receivers.
The Falcons’ defensive unit will probably have its work cut out for it for the remainder of the season. Despite the loss, the Bucs compiled over 500 yards of offense, and came within one play of winning the game. There were some positive moments on defense last week (cornerback Brian Poole and safety Damontae Kazee both had interceptions), but considering the level of talent the defense has lost to injury, it will most likely be an uphill climb for the Falcons’ defense going forward.
The Giants come to town on Monday night with a 1-5 record, tied for the league’s worst. The Giants, despite having two of the NFL’s most explosive offensive players in Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., just cannot seem to get it going. Last week against the Eagles, Barkley ran for 130 yards (on 10 carries) and caught nine passes for 99 yards. Yet, that productivity only resulted in one touchdown, a 50-yard run by Barkley.
The G-Men are also having problems on the defensive end. The Eagles hung 34 points on the Giants’ defense, the third week in a row in which an opposing team has scored at least 33 points. New York has the fourth worst PF/PA ratio in the NFL.
If the Falcons’ passing attack stays true to form, Atlanta should not have a problem with the Giants. But the defense will have to slow down Barkley. The rookie has demonstrated that he has the talent and drive to move the ball down the field.
Kickoff for Monday night’s game is at 8:15 pm at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game can also be viewed on ESPN.