Posted Thu Sep 13th by Monty
Streak: Won 1
Series vs. Denver: 4-8-0
Last time: Broncos, 24-20, Nov. 2008
The Line: Atlanta (-3)
The Denver Broncos head south to face the Atlanta Falcons in each team’s Monday Night Football debut this year. Kickoff on September 17th is set for 8:30 p.m. EDT. Here’s your first look at the Atlanta Falcons.
Who’s hot: WR Julio Jones. The second-year wideout torched the Chiefs secondary in Week One, catching six balls for 108 yards and two touchdowns in his breakout game. With WR Roddy White lining opposite him, the Broncos again have a big test for their top two corners Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. This will be a matchup of strength vs. strength, which is always incredibly fun to watch.
Who’s not: Falcons defense. The Falcons allowed the Chiefs 393 yards last Sunday, giving them the 26th ranked defense in the league to go with 152 rushing yards allowed, 28th in the league. Football Outsiders’s advanced stats confirm these numbers: the Falcons are ranked as the 29th most efficient rush defense after Week One (we’ll have more from FO on the Falcons tomorrow).
Matchup to Watch: Falcons OL vs. Broncos pass rush. The Broncos had a hell of a time getting off the field on third downs against the Steelers, and the pocket that the Steelers OL was able to provide QB Ben Roethlisberger was a big reason why. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ passing attack is dangerous. Beyond the wide receiver combo already mentioned, they boast tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has always been a Bronco-killer, and of course, QB Matt Ryan, who executed the second most prolific passing performance of Week One according to Football Outsiders. To top it off, the Falcons were 5/10 in third down conversions against the Chiefs, only giving up one sack. Elvis Dumervil‘s and Von Miller‘s collective ability — along with the rest of the Broncos defenders — to get to Matt Ryan will be the absolute key to this game.