Denver at Atlanta: Five Things to Watch


Dec 5, 2011; Jacksonville, FL, USA; ESPN Monday Night Football trucks outside of EverBank Field before the NFL game between the San Diego Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Tonight’s matchup of Denver at Atlanta could prove to be a great way for the coaching staff to kill two birds with one stone. I say that because Atlanta is our week three opponent and, of course, Denver is in our division.

Needless to say, this game creates an opportunity to scout both teams. Although I will be watching the entire game and each team’s 3 phases, there are five key areas that I will be paying very close attention to during this contest.

I will be listing my things to watch below. Please feel free to leave me some of things that you are paying close attention to in the comments section.

1) How will the secondary of the Falcons handle Peyton Manning now that Brent Grimes is injured?

Grimes is the team’s best cornerback. Manning and the Bronco offense are sure to attempt to exploit his absence.

2) How good is Denver 2nd round pick Derek Wolfe?

I keep hearing rave reviews about Wolfe. Whether it be the media, teammates, or Bronco coaching staff, everyone seems to have an extremely high opinion of him. Many people questioned the fact that Denver traded out of the first round and used their first choice on Wolfe. I will be watching him to see if he is worth all the hype.

3) Is Michael Turner running out of gas?

The debate about whether or not the Chargers should have kept Turner could go on for days. Turner was a fan favorite, while in San Diego, and seemed to perform well every time his number was called. The question is has the tread on those tires, along with the beatings he takes as a punishing bulldozer, started to add up and, in turn, lead to little production. Through two games the Chargers have the number one run defense in the league. We have done very well at containing both Darren McFadden and Chris Johnson. I know it is only week 3 but I am curious to see how we fare against a bruising type running back.

4) Who will benefit most from the Jack Del Rio and Dirk Koetter reunion?

Jack Del Rio is now the Defensive coordinator of the Broncos. Dirk Koetter is the new offensive coordinator of the Falcons. Koetter held the same position in Jacksonville while the team’s head coach was….you guessed it, Del Rio. To say that there will be some familiarity between the two is an understatement. I look forward to seeing these two go head to head in a playcalling battle.

5) Although it is only the second game of the season was Keenan Rickless right about Julio Jones?

I have a good memory. It’s one of the reasons that I am able to quote stats without relying on a search engine to do so. Keenan and I had a debate about whether or not Jones would have a better season than Roddy White. I am a big Roddy White fan but I didn’t allow that to cloud my judgement. I did, however, disagree and point out how crucial White is to Ryan and the entire play-calling scheme of the Falcons. Rickless held his ground and told me that this conversation can be proven at a later time. Well, Jones looks really good. I am excited to see what Jones looks like in the national spotlight against a good Denver defense. We will all find out tonight.

Thanks a lot for reading.