How the LA Chargers beat the Atlanta Falcons: Exploit the inexperienced corners
This is going to be a really tough matchup for the Atlanta Falcons, at least it has the potential to be. The Falcons’ bread and butter offensively last season was the passing game. Matt Ryan has great weapons around him and that is how the Falcons succeeded.
However, the team was also one of the worst in the league in running the ball. If Gurley can find 80% of what he was two years ago then the Falcons will have a dynamic, multi-faceted offensive. If not, a matchup against the Chargers is going to be hard.
That is because (barring injury) the Chargers have one of the best secondaries in the entire league. And while Julio Jones is so dang talented that he will still get open, Ryan is not going to have a fun day against the secondary and this pass-rush. Teams that have to commit to the pass against the Chargers do not fair well.
Offensively, the Chargers have to tweak their gameplan a tad from likely being more run-based into going down the field more and exploiting the Falcons’ young cornerbacks. With two 1,000-yard receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chargers could have a lot of success against this secondary.
A.J. Terrell is talented but he is going to be green and is going to struggle against someone as elusive as Keenan Allen. The team’s other corner, Isaiah Oliver, is heading into his third year and is coming off a season in which he posted a 56.8 grade on Pro Football Focus — not great.
The LA Chargers have a massive advantage in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. Taking advantage of that advantage is how the team walks away victorious.