Falcons vs. Saints: How (and can) Atlanta stop Alvin Kamara?

 Alvin Kamara is a great running back. I think we can acknowledge that and still
loathe him for his association with the Saints http://www.falconsfootballauthentics.com/devonta-freeman-jersey-authentic ,
and so we shall. The question this week is how the Falcons plan to stop him, and
whether that plan will be successful.The good news is that Kamara has scuffled a
bit in back-to-back weeks on the ground, with 21 carries for just 75 yards,
though he’s scored twice. The bad news is that he’s doing his usual fine work
through the air, with 15 receptions for 165 yards already. Were this the same
crew on defense as a year ago, I’d be pretty confident. The Falcons knocked
Kamara out of the first meeting in 2017—I’m not endorsing that, just
saying—which meant his numbers were quite low. The second time around, Kamara
managed just 2.7 yards per carry and 32 yards on the ground, though he did get
seven receptions for 58 yards. That was when Deion Jones and Keanu Neal were
roaming the field Womens
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, however, and much has changed since
then.How should the Falcons stop Kamara?They need to focus on him. Obviously
Michael Thomas and the other Saints receiving options are plenty capable, but
this secondary remains very good, and a year ago the team managed to not let
Thomas kill them, even if he was quite good. Kamara needs to be priority #1, and
whenever possible, he needs to have someone dedicated to keeping an eye on
him.In an ideal world, that’d be Deion Jones, but Jones isn’t in this game. That
means it’s probably going to fall to Duke Riley and whoever else Marquand Manuel
and Dan Quinn feel can handle such an onerous task Youth
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, and the Falcons would be wise to switch
things up if they’re burned early. As good as Drew Brees is and as good as this
New Orleans offense can be, Kamara is still the biggest single threat in this
game. If they get away from paying extra attention to him, he’ll likely make
them pay. Will the Falcons be able to stop Kamara? This is a much trickier
question to answer. Based on last week’s performance, if Riley has coverage
responsibilities for Kamara it’s going to get hairy. Riley was game but made the
wrong decision too many times against the Panthers and wound up either out of
plays or making miscues that turned into big plays. The Falcons are asking an
awful lot of him at the moment, but they don’t really have an obvious
alternative unless they’re ready to move on to Foye Oluokun already. Riley will
still probably get first crack at Kamara, but chances are good he’s going to
wind up surrendering some significant yardage unless he’s made a drastic leap in
a single week. The Falcons could then try putting Damontae Kazee or Foye Oluokun
on him, or they could really go for it and put him up against one of the team’s
cornerbacks who are equipped to deal with him. That’ll likely only become an
option if he’s killing the Falcons, though, which unfortunately does seem like a
legitimate possibility.I think ultimately the Falcons will find a way to keep
Kamara from being the primary reason they lose this game. I also think he’s
going to have a strong effort overall Youth
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, and this week might determine whether Duke
Riley stays in Deion Jones’ job going forward or not. Even without Devonta
Freeman, the Falcons were still able to run. And even with Steve Sarkisian still
ironing out some kinks, the Falcons were able to score in the red zone.The
result was an impressive 31-24 win over the Panthers, which leaves both teams
1-1.Tevin Coleman did more than his fair share in Freeman’s absence because of a
knee injury, running 16 times for 107 yards. It was the first time the Panthers
had allowed an individual 100-yard rusher since Dec. 4, 2016 against the
Seahawks (Thomas Rawls). But the defensive breakdowns for the Panthers were
unusual after their looked so good last week against the Cowboys, limiting
Ezekiel Elliott to 69 yards and sacking Dak Prescott six times.There wasn’t the
same kind of pressure on Matt Ryan (23-of-28 for 272 yards, with two touchdowns
and an arm-punt interception), as the Falcons offense looked much more polished
than in their loss in the opener to the Eagles.Ryan also ran for two
touchdowns Youth
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, including an 8-yard scramble-and-dive in
the fourth quarter, which might not have been quite like a John Elway helicopter
but was at least like a slow-moving roadside carnival attraction.It didn’t help
that the Panthers are playing without suspended linebacker Thomas Davis, but
they also suffered a pair of injuries in the secondary. Starting cornerback
Donte Jackson (hamstring) and safety DaNorris Searcy (concussion) were unable to
finish the game.But the biggest culprit was their lack of reliable targets
downfield. In the absence of injured tight end Greg Olsen, the Panthers
struggled all day in the passing game, and the final play dropping to the ground
around a double-covered D.J. Moore was a metaphor.
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