The forecast for today's Falcons-Jets game calls for a 100% chance of rain with 17-20 mph winds. The weather will definitely impact this game -- and probably more so for a dome team in Atlanta. We've moved passing-game guys and kickers in this game down the Week 8 Rankings.
The Falcons have fired OC Steve Sarkisian. Atlanta climbed from 8th in total yards and 15th in points in 2017, Sarkisian's first year, to 6th and 10th this season. But the offense still felt relatively disappointing considering its abundance of talent. We'll see who the Falcons hire as their next OC.
The 2016 Falcons led the league in scoring and finished 2nd in total yards. So, not surprisingly, they don't want to alter the offense, despite the departure of OC Kyle Shanahan. "We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place," HC Dan Quinn said. "Along with [GM Thomas Dimitroff], we have a real emphasis now on how we can fit guys into that system. It's very important that we stay consistent with that." In theory, it's good news for QB Matt Ryan and Atlanta's skill-position guys. But we'll see exactly how similar the offense is under new OC Steve Sarkisian.
Falcons QB Matt Ryan was an efficient 18-of-28 for 237 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs in Sunday's dismantling of the Rams. The performance was even more impressive considering stud WR Julio Jones was sidelined. Ryan connected with 8 different pass-catchers, but none had more than 4 receptions. He found WR Justin Hardy and RB Tevin Coleman for short scores and then connected with WR Taylor Gabriel for a 64-yard bomb. Jones' availability and effectiveness going forward remains uncertain, but Ryan's performance in this one should make you feel better about using him the rest of the way. The matchups help, too: home for the 49ers' 29th-ranked QB defense next week and then at Carolina's 26th-ranked unit in Week 16.
The forecast for today's Falcons-Seahawks game calls for a 50% chance of rain with winds of 11-15 mph. That's not quite enough for us to alter our projections, but you could certainly use it as a tiebreaker when considering guys from these 2 passing and kicking games. The weather is a bigger concern for the Falcons, who play their home games in a dome.
Falcons LT Sam Baker suffered a torn patellar tendon in the team's Saturday night preseason game. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Baker will miss the season. That removes a player who has graded out among the league's worst OTs over the past few seasons, according to Pro Football Focus' ratings. So missing Baker certainly shouldn't crush the Falcons offense. Disrupting the O-line group adds a challenge, however, for a group trying to bounce back from an injury-laden, terrible 2013. Rookie Jake Matthews had been slotted to start at RT but could slide into Baker's vacated role, where the team planned to play him in the future anyway. The situation bears watching, but we're not changing our outlook for the potentially explosive Falcons offense because of Baker's absence.
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