State of the Culture: Atlanta Falcons

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As the Atlanta Falcons sit at 3-4 on the season they are currently coming off of their bye week. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time since the Falcons have been nursing injuries all season. Grady Jarrett came back after missing two games and had a monster performance finishing with 5 tackles and 2 sacks.

Although the opponent was the New York Giants who now sit at 1-6, this defense showed that they have the ability to show up when called upon even though that hasn’t been the case all season.

Damontae Kazee who stepped in for the injured Ricardo Allen has filled in nicely and has improved each game. Jordan Richards who has underperformed since being traded to the Falcons looks to be behind Sharrod Neasman in the rotation which was a move that couldn’t have come sooner. The Falcons also lost starting right guard Brandon Fusco to a season-ending ankle injury. The next man up is longtime Falcon Ben Garland who has often been a swiss army knife as he has the ability to play offensive line and defensive line.

Looking forward

The Atlanta Falcons have some very winnable games as they are waiting for all-pro linebacker Deion Jones to become available off of injured reserve. Deion Jones should be available by the time the Falcons are ready to take on the Saints in week 11.

This Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons take on the Washington Redskins who are a formidable team but haven’t faced an offense of the Atlanta Falcons caliber just yet. The Falcons defense absolutely shut down Saquon Barkley while many thought they would be gashed for up close to 200 yards. Applying that same gameplan to the Redskins, the Falcons can easily shut down the combo of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson should the run defense play at the level they did against the Giants.

The Falcons match up well with Redskins who don’t do well against high scoring offenses. The run game will most likely stall again as the Redskins have a top run defense. In terms of the passing game, this is where the Falcons will gash the Redskins. The Redskins like to play keep away which does not bode well for the Falcons as they do not fare well against teams that do that.

This game will be a win for the Atlanta Falcons should they limit the Redskins dink-and-dunk offense. Alex Smith is not a mobile quarterback so if the pass rush gets home they will be able to finish. All the Falcons need to do is keep winning until Deion Jones gets back so they can finally have their leader do what he does best. I predict this to be a high scoring hard fought game but the Falcons will come out on top.

Prediction

ATL 31|WAS 17

 

Da’Vonte Hughes| @CookieByNature

 

BREAKING: RG Brandon Fusco out for the season

According to a report, Right Guard Brandon Fusco is out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle.

This injury was suffered in the 2nd half of last nights game versus the New York Giants. Fusco was signed to a 3-year deal this past offseason. Fusco will go on IR and a signing will be made soon after the team works out some players during the bye week.

We here at ATLSportsHQ will be praying for a speedy recovery.

Da’Vonte Hughes| @CookieByNature

Projecting the Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Pre-Draft

The Atlanta Falcons went into free agency with a very limited amount of cap space which hindered their ability to sure up the holes that they have on the roster. The Falcons managed to grab Guard Brandon Fusco who played in ex-Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s scheme with the San Francisco 49ers last season and started all 16 games.

The Falcons also replaced blocking TE Levine Toilolo(now with the Detroit Lions) with blocking TE Logan Paulsen who also played under Kyle Shanahan’s scheme with the Washington Redskins from 2010-2015 and also last season with the San Francisco 49ers. An underrated signing the Falcons made was CB Justin Bethel who last played with the Arizona Cardinals and is a 3 time pro bowler for his special teams play. Bethel will certainly improve the Falcons special teams play which certainly had a very bad year under special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong.

After what seemed like an underwhelming season after a Superbowl appearance the Falcons seem to be set on loading up the team through the draft. The following is an projected depth chart for the Atlanta Falcons before the draft on April 26th.

Offense

QB 2 Matt Ryan- 8 Matt Schaub- 9 Garrett Grayson

RB 24 Devonta Freeman- 26 Tevin Coleman- 25 Terrence Magee

FB Vacant

WR1 11 Julio Jones

LT 70 Jake Matthews- 74 Ty Sambraillo

LG 67 Andy Levitre- 64 Sean Harlow

C 51 Alex Mack- 63 Ben Garland

RG Brandon Fusco- 71 Wes Schweitzer- 75 Jamil Douglas

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder- 68 Austin Pazstor- 76 Daniel Brunskill

TE 81 Austin Hooper- Logan Paulsen- 85 Eric Saubert- 89 Alex Gray

WR2 12 Mohamed Sanu- 14 Justin Hardy

WR3 17 Marvin Hall- 16 Reggie Davis- 13 Devin Fuller

Base 4-3 Defense 

LCB 23 Robert Alford- 33 Blidi-Wreh Wilson- 39 Deante Burton

SDE 90 Derrick Shelby- 50 Brooks Reed- 96 Martin Ifedi

NT 77 Joey Ivie- 93 Taniela Tupou

UT 97 Grady Jarrett- 95 Jack Crawford

LEO 98 Takk McKinley- 44 Vic Beasley- 55 J’Terius Jones

SLB 59 De’Vondre Campbell

MLB 45 Deion Jones

WLB 42 Duke Riley

RCB 21 Desmond Trufant- 34 Brian Poole- Justin Bethel- 35 Leon McFadden

FS 37 Ricardo Allen- 27 Demontae Kazee- 38 Marcelis Branch

SS 22 Keanu Neal- 41 Quincy Mauger

Special Teams 

LS 47 Josh Harris

K 3 Matt Bryant

P 5 Matt Bosher

 

Comment below on what you project the Falcons depth chart to be. Be sure to follow all of our social media accounts and we will surely follow you back!

3 Under The Radar Signings The Falcons Should Make

When free agency began the Atlanta Falcons made one move which was signing Guard Brandon Fusco to a 3-yr deal. The Falcons currently have a limited amount of cap space which is why they are quiet on the free agency fronts up until this point. Matt Ryan has a looming extension which will free up a bit of cap space so the Falcons can make moves. Until then all we can do is speculate who the Falcons will decide to pick up. The following are 3 under the radar signings the Falcons should make.

DT Dominique Easley (Los Angeles Rams)  

Easley has ties to coach Dan Quinn as he played at the University of Florida during Quinn’s tenure there as the defensive line coach. Easley has the talent to succeed as a pass rusher but just hasn’t had any luck with his health. Easley finished the season with 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Imagine having that kind of production in a familiar scheme. Easley would be an upgrade from the players they had on the line before such as Ahyta Rubin and Courtney Upshaw. At 25 years old, Easley still has upside and Dan Quinn could pull every ounce of it out of him.

DT Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 

Clinton McDonald played for Dan Quinn in Seattle during their super bowl campaign. McDonald as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers posted 18 tackles and 5 sacks. Signing McDonald would bolster the Falcons pass rush and give them many options outside of Grady Jarrett on the interior. With the Falcons losing Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn in free agency the Falcons will need to fill these holes immediately. Clinton McDonald knows the scheme and could fill in nicely should he be given a look by the Atlanta Falcons.

WR Bennie Fowler (Denver Broncos) 

Benne Fowler hasn’t had the opportunity to play with a real quarterback as he was signed to the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Fowler has the potential to be a game breaker if given the opportunity. Recently signed QB coach Gregg Knapp was the QB coach for the Denver Broncos during Fowler’s tenure and could be a deciding factor should the Falcons choose to sign Fowler. Bennie Fowler finished the season with 29 receptions, 250 yards, and 3 TDs. Fowler could be a hidden gem in the mold of Taylor Gabriel for the Falcons as he is a relatively unknown player. With Taylor Gabriel leaving to sign with the Chicago Bears, the Falcons could sign someone bigger and with familiarity with the scheme.
Comment below who you believe is an under the radar player the Falcons should get. Don’t forget to follow all of our social media handles for nonstop Atlanta sports coverage.

 

Falcons sign G Brandon Fusco to a 3-yr deal

The Atlanta Falcons have signed ex-49er guard Brandon Fusco to a 3 year $12.75 million dollar deal. Fusco was ranked the 21st best guard according to PFF metrics with an average grade of 76.0.  The 29-year old guard started his career with the Minnesota Vikings and played very well until he got injured. Before his injury he netted a $25 million dollar deal from the Vikings which tells you that he did pretty well for Minnesota. Fusco started all 16 games for the San Francisco 49ers.

Fusco is more renowned as a power blocker but it was reported that Dan Quinn is looking to add more power plays into the playbook for next season. Fusco is being paid starter money but will look to be in competition with last years starter Wes Schweitzer. Wes Schweitzer had an up-and-down season which prompted the Falcons to sign a veteran to hold down the line.

When Chris Chester retired the run game took a step back from the Falcons historic season in 2016. With Fusco now in the fold the Falcons will have a dominant run game reminiscent of the 2016 season. Also, the signing of Fusco means that it is likely that guard will not be addressed in the draft. Falcons fans should look for a defensive player to be taken with their first selection at 26th overall.