Arrow up , arrow down for Falcons heading into Week 4

Here’s a closer
look  Atlanta Falcons
at who appears to be #risingup and who appears to be trending down as we
head into the Bengals matchup. Arrow UpQB Matt Ryan Ryan is capable of catching
fire like he has over the last two weeks, and it’s always a delight. He’s simply
firing on all cylinders right now, having thrown for seven touchdowns against
the Panthers and Saints and running for two more against the Panthers, which
puts him at nine in his last two games. His throws have been orders of magnitude
better than they were in Week 1, and despite some adventures in pass protection
from the line and the lack of a ground game in Week 3, he’s dealing. Heading
into Week 4, the chief concern for Ryan is the effectiveness of his ground game
and offensive line. The Bengals quietly have a quality secondary, but Ryan
should continue to dominate so long as he stays on his feet. WR Calvin
RidleyWe’re actually at risk of overhyping Ridley, because he’s in the midst of
a magical two game stretch that probably isn’t going to stretch out over the
rest of the season. Ridley has been every bit as good as advertised over the
last two weeks, reeling in four touchdowns and about 200 yards through the air
and running crisp, difficult routes with aplomb. There will be weeks where he
fades into the background, but he’s the second option in this passing game, and
should be for a long time to come. Before the season I was cautious about
projecting too much from Ridley, who came NFL-ready but figured to have to scrap
for targets with Mohamed Sanu Customized Atlanta
Falcons Jerseys
 , Austin Hooper and the running backs. Now that
he’s taken his role and run with it, though, I’m all-in on the Ridley train.
Choo choo. LB Duke Riley Riley has been under as much pressure as any Falcon to
begin the year, and stepping into the middle linebacker job against Carolina and
New Orleans in back-to-back weeks was never going to be easy for him. He
faltered badly against Carolina, but he legitimately played better against New
Orleans in a tougher matchup, which was encouraging. In this game, Riley was
constantly around the ball, and despite the looseness of his game at times he
managed to make some good tackles and stay in the play. It’s not
earth-shattering, but the arrow’s pointing up, especially with Foye Oluokun now
nursing an injury. Riley’s never going to be Deion Jones, and he may never even
turn into an above average starter, but he’s making some strides. The Falcons
need him to keep it up if they’re going to stay afloat on defense, and if he’s
even a passable starter from here on out it’ll be a help. S Damontae KazeeIt
wasn’t all sunshine and form tackles for Kazee, but he showed the open field
tackling ability and physicality this defense sorely needs when he wasn’t
missing some tackles himself. Kazee is going to be heavily relied upon with
Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal out the rest of the way ,
and I think there’s no question he has the talent to be a very good player. The
Falcons unfortunately need him to be one immediately.Kazee is the best safety on
the roster at the moment, though, and perhaps the surest tackler at the
position. Expect him to pile up the tackles and hopefully make some big plays
going forward. Stock down OL...All of them Not every offensive lineman played
poorly against the Saints, but as a unit, there were scuffles in pass protection
that are very concerning given who is coming to town this weekend. The Bengals
arguably have a better, deeper pass rush than the Saints, who got a handful of
key sacks on Matt Ryan.They also have a solid run defense up front, and the line
did not block well at all for Tevin Coleman in Week 3, if we can be honest.
Coleman did himself few favors, but this line has to block better for the
Falcons to remain balanced.S Jordan Richards I hope to be putting Richards in
Arrow Up next week. I really do.The fact of the matter is that Richards, despite
some impressively physical tackling and solid run support in his limited Falcons
snaps to this point, has not impressed at all in coverage. In fact, he’s had his
adventures there, as he has throughout his career Atlanta Falcons
 , and took some notably bad angles in the Panthers game.
Now he’s looking like the full-time starter for at least a short stint, with
Sharrod Neasman lurking in the background, I guess.Against teams committed to
running the football, Richards is likely to beless of a liability, and he may
even be an asset. Against teams like the Bengals who are committed to throwing
the ball, Richards is going to be tested and is going to need to erase doubts
about his ability to handle those assignments. If he can, Dan Quinn and company
will look like geniuses, but it’s fair to say we haven’t seen enough from
Richards thus far in his career to suggest he will.Arrow down until proven
otherwise.DE Vic Beasley It’s incredibly painful to keep putting Beasley here.
He’s one of the team’s good guys, he’s two seasons away from leading the league
in sacks, and there are those moments where you watch him absolutely whip by a
tackle and think this is it. But those moments have been far too few and far
between for a while now.Against the Saints, Beasley picked up the game’s lone
sack, but also found himself getting tangled up off the edge and failing to make
some crucial tackles, most notably on Taysom Hill’s embarrassing long rumble.
Getting Takk McKinley back this week will help and finding more playing time for
Jack Crawford should as well, but this line has no hopes of being great if
Beasley isn’t.The Falcoholic Live’s Falcons vs. Steelers Post-game Special Watch
the broadcast below beginning at 4:20 PM ETWell Atlanta Falcons
 , you saw it. If you watched to the end, then I applaud you.
At any rate, the Falcons lost a total blunder of a game to the Steelers, falling
to 1-4 and almost assuredly falling out of the playoff picture in 2018. It
sucks, and there’s plenty of blame to go around—much of it directed at Adam
Caplan and his tweet. Come and talk about where the team goes from here with us,
as we discuss the future of the Falcons in 2018 and beyond. Be warned: there may
be more profanity than usual in this one.As always, we’ll also be taking your
questions throughout the show. If you’d like to ask a question, there are two
ways to do so:Ask your question in advance by tweeting it to the show
@FalcoholicLive.Ask your question live by sending it in the comments on the
Facebook Live broadcast.We hope you guys enjoy the show! If you have comments,
we’d love to hear them. Send them to us on Twitter (@FalcoholicLive), leave them
below, or e-mail us at for watching!
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